Niamh Doherty

A Comforting Apple and Blackberry Crumble

In Autumn, Baking, Comfort Food, Dessert on October 10, 2010 at 21:45

When the evenings get shorter and the temperatures start to drop, my thoughts turn to woolly jumpers, crackling fires, snuggling down under a cosy blanket with a good book, and I crave hearty food like rib-sticking stews, luscious, gravy-filled pies, and warm, comforting fruit crumbles. This apple and blackberry crumble is one such dish, with the sweet and crunchy topping revealing a bed of soft and delicious fruit. Apple and blackberry is a classic autumnal combination, and one that I’m more than happy to indulge in while both fruits are at their best.

The original recipe calls for cooking apples, but I used regular eating apples and cut out most of the sugar. Normally, I would add cinnamon to an apple crumble, but omitted it here as the blackberries added more than enough extra flavour. This makes a lovely ending to a autumnal Sunday lunch when served, still warm, with vanilla ice-cream, softly-whipped cream, or a blob of crème fraiche…woolly jumper and crackling fire optional.

Apple and Blackberry Crumble (taken from Rachel’s Favourite Food, by Rachel Allen)

Serves 6


3-4 large cooking apples (or 4-5 eating apples), peeled, cored and cut into large chunks

1 tbsp water

2-3 tbsp sugar (you can cut this down to about 1/2 tbsp of sugar if using eating apples)

225g blackberries (frozen is fine)

For the crumble:

175g plain white flour

75g cold butter, cut into chunks

75g demerara sugar


1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celcius. Put the apple chunks, water and sugar into a saucepan over a low heat and cook until the apples are soft and pulpy – about 10 minutes. If using eating apples, they won’t break down as much, so cook them until they are soft to the point of a knife. While the apples are cooking, stir every minute or so to prevent them from sticking to the bottom of the pan. Taste and add more sugar if needed, before transferring to a pie dish (or to several small ramekins) to cool slightly. Pop the blackberries onto the cooked apple at this point.

2. To make the crumble, rub the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Don’t rub it in too much however, as the crumble won’t be crunchy if you do. Add the sugar into the crumble topping and mix. Sprinkle the crumble mixture on top of the apple and blackberries.

3. Bake for 15 minutes for small crumbles, or 30-45 minutes for larger crumbles. Remove from the oven when the crumble is cooked and golden. Serve whilst still warm, with cream, vanilla ice-cream or crème fraiche.

  1. What a syncrhonicity! I just made this same pie this evening, before logging in and checking my Reader, and there was your blog post about apple and blackberry crumble. The only difference between yours and mine is that, as I only had two small apples left (I have a hard time keeping away from apples at any time of year, but I’m super-addicted to them during the autumn months), I went out to the back garden and picked some elderberries. So for my crumble it was a mixture of apples, blackberries (that we picked just a few days ago – amazing that the season has lasted this long, as last year they were pretty much gone by mid-September) and elderberries. I added just a touch of cinnamon (even though, as you wrote above, that there was more than enough flavour without the cinnamon, but when it comes to apples, I think they get lonely without their cinnamon accompaniment).

    Your crumble looks dee-lish as does mine (so says the hubby). Oh! I forgot to add that we didn’t have any whipped cream or creme fraiche or ice cream, but we did have a can of condensed milk (thank you, LiDL) so I just poured that on top of the crumble and it was nearly as gorgeous as double cream.

    Thanks for sharing, Niamh. Enjoy every bite, just as we have done with ours this evening.

  2. Your crumble sounds fab June – esp with the condensed milk on top, yum! I decided to forgo the cinnamon this time and let the flavour of the blackberries shine as they’re only in season for a short while, but I’ll be back to my usual cinnamon-sprinkling ways next time, no doubt!

  3. Sounds pretty comforting to me! I want to curl up with a plate of this!

  4. Thanks Sydney! I love it, and somehow manage to convince myself that all the fruit it contains makes it healthy 😉

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