Apple, Lychee and Blackberry Grumble


Almost everyone I know has had bad experiences with school dinners but I was fortunate at my school: the cafeteria ladies did a great job. When I first came to the UK my encounters with English food were at school – dishes such as fish and chips, shepherd’s pie, cottage pie, Yorkshire puddings and apple crumble and custard – and I loved it. This is my take on English crumble, the Chinese influence here being lychees. I think the trio of apple, lychee and blackberry makes for a delicious combination. Great served with custard or a scoop of homemade lychee and vanilla ice cream.

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 35 minutes


  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 large apples, peeled and cored, diced
  • ¾ cup superfine sugar
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3 oz fresh or canned lychees, drained
  • 5 oz blackberries
  • tablespoons unsalted butter
  • heaping ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • heaping cup superfine sugar


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4.
  2. Heat a wok or pan over high heat and melt the butter and sauté the apples. Add the superfine sugar and the cinnamon and fry until the apples are crisp. Add the lychees and blackberries, stirring carefully. Remove from the heat and spoon the fruits into a gratin dish or small baking tray.
  3. Rub together the butter, flour and superfine sugar until crumbly. Sprinkle generously over the fruits to cover them. Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown.
  4. Sprinkle with powdered sugar, decorate with a sprig of mint and serve with Lychee and Vanilla Ice Cream or custard.

To Serve

  • powdered sugar
  • sprig of mint
  • prepared custard or creme anglaise