Apple and blackberry crumble


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


Appears in

Oats in the North, Wheat from the South: The history of British Baking, savoury and sweet

Oats in the North, Wheat from the South

By Regula Ysewijn

Published 2020

  • About

My British friend Pete Brown, who recently published a book about the uniqueness of British food, says that crumble is typically British because it’s warm and comforting, a feeling that the British look to create with their iconic dishes. It’s also incredibly easy to prepare and it’s quite subdued but silently proud. It is Britain in a nutshell, or rather, in a ceramic dish.


For the crumble topping

  • 85 g (3 oz) wholemeal wheat or spelt flour
  • 60 g (2 ¼ oz) traditional rolled oats or spelt flakes
  • 50 g ( oz) raw (demerara) sugar
  • handful of slivered almonds
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 80 g ( oz) butter, at room temperature
  • butter, for greasing
  • flour, for dusting

For the filling

  • 300 g (10½ oz) red apples (e.g. cox or boskoop, or a combination of the two), cubed
  • 30 g (1 oz) butter
  • 30 g (1 oz) white sugar
  • ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 200 g (7 oz) blackberries


For a 12 x 18 cm (4½ x 7 inch) ovenproof dish

Preheat your oven to 190°C (375°F) and grease the dish with butter.

Combine the flour, oats or spelt, sugar, almonds and salt and rub in the butter. Put the topping in the freezer while you prepare the filling.

Stew the apples for 5 minutes with the butter, sugar, cinnamon and two or three of the blackberries for colour. Spoon the filling into the dish, then sprinkle the raw blackberries over the top.

Roughly crumble the topping over the fruit. Bake for 30-40 minutes until the crumble is golden brown and the fruit is bubbling wonderfully.

Serve the crumble with vanilla ice cream or with Greek yoghurt, skyr or clotted cream. Custard is a classic combination with crumble.

I like to make too much and eat the leftovers for breakfast the next day!