I love the melancholic atmosphere of late summer. The leaves are beginning to turn a beautiful orangey-red and the air is turning cooler, yet it has a warm, damp smell to it.
I enjoy just going out into the back of our garden, looking at the cows in the field and munching on a perfectly ripe apple; these have the sweetness of summer coupled with the softness of silk, with none of that bitterness and tough bite of shop bought apples, which makes your gums tingle and hurt.
So it just had to be homely crumble as pudding...
We have 2 types of cooking apples in the garden, so I mixed up the apples and stewed them gently in a dark muscovado sugar, some Fairtrade organic mixed spice of ours and a dash of orange juice (it gives it some citrusy taste while stopping the apples from turning brown as you peel and cut the others, plus it’s much less harsh than using lemon which some people suggest).
Also, when I make the crumble, I quite like adding extra flavours to it , so this weekend I added some ground almonds and othertimes I have added some crushed digestive biscuits or mixed the flour types up, for example using wholewheat flour gives the crumble more of a chewiness than crunchiness.
This is all part of my cooking style. It is good to start with the basic recipe idea, but then to gently adjust it to create a much greater depth of flavour or to change the texture. It adds a certain mysterious quality that means your crumble will never quite be repeated by anyone else, or by you ever again.
I suppose it’s all about making home cooking unique and the antithesis of industrial food, which is all about keeping the same taste over gazillions of meals that are being bashed out by machines or cooks; industrial food has to be very simple and easily repetitive and have an unchanged taste whatever the quality of the ingredients, i.e. no tweaking for flavour. It’s food of the lowest common denominator.
Here’s my attempt at recreating what I made.