Crumbles are real cold weather comfort food! My mum used to make them often when we were children, and I make my fair share when I’ve stocked up with cooking apples from her garden each autumn. This is one of my few recipes in which I often used refined sugar; coconut sugar is a good alternative to soft brown sugar but isn’t sold everywhere and is a little pricey. 

Crumbles are so easy and versatile as you can put almost any fruit in them. Apple is an old favourite, although I do also like to add rhubarb or blackberries when they are in season. The elderflower is a great way to add some sweetness without covering in sugar. I always have a plentiful stock in the house as its a family tradition to make huge batches of elderflower cordial every summer. There are plenty available in the shops too, but as an alternative apple juice also works well.

This is a really oaty crumble topping which I love. Without the sugar it is also a delicious topping for savoury pies as an alternative to pastry.

 4- 6 servings
600g cooking apples, cored, peeled and cut into slices
1 tblsp elderflower cordial
1/2 tsp cinnamon
100g plain flour
100g jumbo oats
75g butter cut into small pieces or, if you want a dairy free/vegan option, coconut oil is a fantastic alternative. Pop it in the fridge to solidify if its liquid before adding it to the mix
100g soft brown sugar or coconut sugar 

Preheat the oven to 180C. Put the chopped apples in a saucepan with the elderflower cordial and sprinkle over the cinnamon. Cook gently for a few minutes so the apples just start to soften. Give them a gently stir part way through so they cook evenly, but be careful not to break them up if you can. Before they go mushy, transfer to an ovenproof dish.

To make the crumble, mix together the flour, oats and brown sugar then rub in the pieces of butter. Cover the apples evenly, pat down gently and sprinkle with a little more brown sugar.

Cook for about 30 mins. Serve with custard, ice cream or crème fraiche.

Dessert, pudding, vegetarian, vegan, comfort food