Apple, Blackberry & Sloe Gin Crumble

Autumn is finally (mostly) here, and after the endless summer we’ve had this year I’m reveling in being able to wear jumpers and boots again. Along with the cosy clothes comes the cosy food: stews, curries and roasted root veg, not too mention the puddings – warming pies and crumbles to celebrate the harvest.

This particular crumble has been my favourite recently. The sloe gin gives it a beautiful depth of flavour, while the pistachios and almonds in the topping give extra crunchy contrast to the soft fruit. I actually made it with vegan dairy-free spread, and served it with soya cream – but of course if you’re not vegan you don’t need to do this. Likewise, you can easily substitute in gluten-free oats if needed.

Ingredients (serves 6):
– 1tsp lemon juice
– 850-900g Bramley apples
– 100g demerara sugar
– 250g blackberries
– 4-5 tbsp sloe gin

For the crumble topping:
– 100g plain flour
– 50g oats
– 75g butter, cubed
– 75g demerara sugar
– ½tsp allspice
– ½tsp ground cinnamon
– 2 tbsp chopped pistachios
– handful of toasted flaked almonds (optional)

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C, and fill a large bowl with water; add the lemon juice. Peel and core the apples and cut into chunks, adding to the bowl of water as you go along (this will stop the first apples you prepare from discolouring while you chop the rest). Drain and transfer to a baking dish (approx 2.3L). Toss with the sugar, then bake for 20 mins until tender.

2. Meanwhile, mix together the flour and oats, then use the tips of your fingers to rub in the butter. Stir in the sugar, spices and pistachios and set aside.

3. Add the blackberries and sloe gin to the baking dish and toss to distribute. Scatter over the crumble topping, packing down slightly, then top with the almonds. Return to the oven and bake for 40-50 minutes, until the topping is golden and the fruit juices are bubbling up around the edges.

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