Posted by Grace Massa Langlois on Friday, 5th October 2012

I thought I would ring in the fall season with a simple British classic, apple crumble. I can’t believe fall is already upon us I’m already missing and longing for the return of summer. It’s not that I dislike the fall season quite the opposite in fact. I love fall especially the changing of the leaves, all those beautiful colours, reds, oranges, and golds. I even enjoy the cooler nights especially cozying up in front of a roaring fire.

A close up photo of Granny Smith Apples for use in Apple Crumbles.

I particularly enjoy heading to the market, stands are piled high with squash, there’s an abundance of herbs, and pears, lots and lots of apples and of course, hot apple cider. What is it about the fall I dislike? Fall is invariably a short prelude to the winter season, falling temperatures and snow, lots of it! I despise winter, in fact I’m like the bears, I go into hibernation.

A photo of two Apple Crumble desserts displayed on a dark wooden board with pink and white striped napkins and red dessert spoons.

Thankfully my husband was the opposite or my children may have inherited my extreme dislike for the winter season and all that comes with it (snowmobiling, snowboarding, snowshoeing etc.). My husband grew up in Northern Ontario where the temperatures can drop to minus 5° C (40° F), the snow crunches when you walk on it and if you don’t use a block heater your car may not start in the morning.

A photo taken looking down on an Apple Crumble with Calvados topped with a dollop of whipped cream.

I’ll never forget my first trip to Cochrane (Northern Ontario); it was in the early part of September 1989. We’d barely said goodbye to summer in Southern Ontario. It was one of the only trips we took by air. I can remember starting the descent and turning to Moe (my late husband) and saying, “Moe I think it’s pouring rain, we’re going to get soaked making our way across the tarmac.” I’ll never forget the look on his face when he glanced out the window. He took hold of my arms and he said, “Grace, brace yourself, that’s not rain it’s snow and lots of it.” I couldn’t believe it, as I looked down at my summer dress I thought now what?

A photo of homemade Fruit and Nut Granola on a rimmed baking sheet with a wooden spoon.

As we walked down the stairs of the plane I looked back at Moe and he was grinning. I was just about to unleash the wrath when he said, “look” as he pointed to his father. If he was trying to make me feel better he wasn’t doing a very good job because his father wasn’t just smiling he was laughing out loud. What I didn’t see? Pépère came prepared with parka in hand and the first thing he said to me was, “city girl, I knew you wouldn’t come prepared.”  He was so right; in fact, to this day I’m never prepared for winter.

A photo of an Apple Crumble displayed on a dark slate board with a pink and white striped napkin and dessert spoon.

I think the only thing I like about the season is the food. Winter fruits like persimmons, pears, tangerines and apples are my favourite. I love stews and braised meat dishes with lots of winter root vegetables. These types of dishes warm you up from the inside out just like this apple crumble.

A photo of two Apple Crisp desserts in blue ramekins on blue dessert dishes with pink and white striped napkins and red dessert spoons.

I started the crumble filling with a light caramel and flavoured the filling with vanilla, Calvados (apple brandy), cinnamon and just a touch of nutmeg. Usually I peel the apples, this time I didn’t, why? I picked up a great tip from Gordon Ramsay, “the flavour is in the skin”. I urge you to try it the next time you make an apple crumble. According to Gordon the same is true with pears, plums and peaches.

A photo taken looking down on an Apple Crumble dessert.

To jazz up the crumble topping I added some homemade fruit and nut granola. I prepared the granola with a mixture of rolled oats, pecans, walnuts, almonds, raisins and dried cranberries. The nutty granola gives the topping a crispy, crunchy texture making it the perfect contrast to the tender and flavourful apples.

A photo taken looking down on an Apple Crisp dessert topped with a dollop of sweetened whipped cream.

Crumbles may be simple to make but they are delicious and they are the best way to celebrate fruit when it’s in season. And when it comes to apple crumbles, the intoxicating aroma of baked apples and cinnamon wafting throughout the house, it’s the best!

Happy Weekend and to all my Canadian Visitors, Happy Thanksgiving!

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Posted in Baking & Pastry, Baking Mise en Place, Basics, Dolci al Cucchiaio, Dolci alla Frutta, Fillings, Frostings & Dessert Sauces, Fruit Desserts, Pastry Doughs & Batter, Recipes, Ricette di Base, Spoon Desserts

Comments (2)

2 Responses to “Apple Crumble with Homemade Fruit and Nut Granola Topping”

  1. Lauren at Keep It Sweet Says:

    The food is definitely what makes winter bearable… warm delicious, comfort food:-) Apple crumbles are one of my favorites, especially with ice cream!

  2. Brooks at Cakewalker Says:

    Grace, This apple crumble has never looked more satisfying. A terrific nod to Fall with a warm dessert, while winking at summer with ice cream…sublime!

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