I spent the last 2 days up in St. Leonards at my friend Sandy’s holiday house with some workmates. I wanted to cook something up there, something universally pleasing, but not too difficult. You see, there were 11 of us up there, including some guys with very cutting senses of humour, one of whom is a qualified chef (!), and the idea of slaving in a foreign kitchen all night, only to be derided (even jokingly) by them simply did not appeal. Plus, I wanted to make something cheap.
268. Apple Crumble (Basics etc.)
Apple crumble is delicious, easy, and seems to be something that everyone will eat. I have previously made the rhubarb crumble and the apple and walnut crumble, and loved them, but in this instance, I thought that the basic, ur-recipe would be the best. Also, this is the easiest crumble in How to Eat, and making it enabled me to cross yet another recipe off my list.
I aired the idea to the gang on the first day of our holiday, and they all seemed up for it. I bought some apples and butter at the supermarket on our way up there, and made the crumble in the afternoon, while the others were playing Uno, drinking, and watching TV. There were no scales up there, or a food processor, so I had to do it by eye and hand.
I got 1 block of butter, cut it into cubes, and piled on an appropriate-looking amount of flour, before rubbing it in with my fingers, and adding a bit more flour as I went along. Then I stirred in some white sugar (Sandy had no brown sugar at her house), and popped it in the fridge.
Then I peeled the apples (with a knife!) and cut them into wedge-shaped chunks. Bizarrely, Wes & Brad, who were sitting at the kitchen bench playing Uno whilst I was doing this, really love eating apple peel, and kept taking pieces out of my detritus bowl.
raw apples, crumble mix
Then I cooked the apples in a pan with some butter and sugar and a bit of lime juice, (fresh oranges were sadly also lacking), and let them sit aside while we ate dinner.
For dinner, we ate some packet lasagne and delish roast potatoes that Sandy made, and after that, I put the crumble together.
Me: Is apple crumble ok with everyone?
Everyone: Yes… yeah… yup etc
Me: So Wes, you like apple crumble?
Wes: Yes. The crumble part is better. Can my piece have more crumble and less apple? In fact, just give me a bowl of crumble.
I myself much prefer the crumble, (as does everybody, apparently) and it seemed that the dimensions of the pans and quantities of fruit and crumble available to me meant that we were going to end up with a very high crumble-to-fruit ratio. It was basically one thin layer of apple pieces, with heaps of crumble dumped straight on top.
This took about 30 minutes to cook in the oven, and in the meantime I made the custard. (Just to prove that I wasn’t lying when I said in the Q&A with Sarah, that I can make custard without a recipe now). It thickened easily without any problems. However, I did feel the need to get the OK from Brad, (our resident qualified chef), before I was sure it was thick enough.
Me: Brad, check this custard out, is it thick enough?
Brad: ...peering into the pot… yeah that’s heaps thick! That’s perfect for an anglaise… how did you make it?
Me: I mixed eggs and sugar, then poured in hot cream and stirred the whole lot over the heat.
Brad: Good girl! But, it’s an anglaise, not a custard.
Me: It’s a custard.
Brad: It’s an anglaise… custard is made with custard powder.
Me: Whatever! Go back to Uno!
Then we divvied up the crumble and custard.
I do realise that most people aren’t as obsessed with custard as I am, and only drizzled a sane amount onto their servings. But for my bowl, I totally drowned it in custard.
Thank goodness, everyone liked it! And they all said the same thing about it... "Good crumble, Sarah". People were also appreciative of the good smells while it was baking.
I went to bed relatively early, and it happened that yet more friends arrived while I was sleeping. You see, I got up the next morning, groggily walked to the kitchen, and found everyone milling about the living area/kitchen, including some new faces. At this point, my friend Michael grabbed me by the shoulders and pushed me in front of some dude I'd never met before (one of his friends who'd arrived during the night), and shouted, "Hey! This is Sarah! She's the one who made that crumble you devoured last night!". The mystery-friend then said to me,"That was good crumble". Awesome! He was hot, too. And he made me a pancake for breakfast, which I ate in addition to the very few remains of the crumble, drowned in cold and deliciously thick leftover custard.
Oh hey! I just got a message from Sandy…
“thankyou sooo much for coming up hun! We must do this again! I’m craving your apple crumble BIG time xoxo”