Apple and blackberry crumble

111 Matt Tebbutt recipe template

Preparation time
less than 30 mins

Cooking time
1 to 2 hours

Serves 8


By Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall
From Saturday Kitchen


For the apple and blackberry crumble

  • 1.5kg/3lb 5oz cooking apples (or 1kg/2lb 4oz cooking plus 500g/1lb 2oz eating apples)
  • 1 lemon, zest and juice
  • 1 orange, zest and juice
  • 50g/1¾oz–60g/2¼oz golden caster sugar
  • 500g/1lb 2oz blackberries

For the crumble topping

  • 100g/3½oz fine plain wholemeal flour
  • 100g/3½oz ground almonds
  • 100g/3½oz porridge oats
  • 50g/1¾oz soft light brown sugar
  • pinch salt
  • 150g/5½ oz cold unsalted butter, diced, or 120g/4½oz chilled coconut oil
  • 100g/3½oz mixed seeds, such as poppy, flax and sunflower

For the custard

  • 300ml/10fl oz full-fat milk
  • 200ml/7fl oz double cream
  • 1 vanilla pod, split, seeds scraped or 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 25g/1oz golden caster or soft light brown sugar
  • 2 tsp cornflour, optional


  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/160C Fan/Gas 4.

  2. To make the crumble, mix the orange and lemon zest and juice together in a large bowl. Peel, core and thinly slice the apples, dropping them into the bowl as you do so, and tossing the apples in the juice occasionally.

  3. Transfer the apples and juice to a fairly large saucepan and add the sugar. Cook over a medium heat, stirring often, for 15 minutes until the apples collapse into a silk golden puree (if you use some eating apples, they will stay chunkier).

  4. Meanwhile, to make the crumble topping put all the ingredients except the seeds in a food processor and blitz to form a crumbly mixture, then transfer to a bowl. Alternatively, put the ingredients into a large bowl and rub together with your fingers until the mixture comes together as a crumbly mix. Once combined, stir in the seeds. Place in the fridge until needed.

  5. Take the apples from the oven and give them a gentle stir. Taste them and assess the sweetness. Stir in the blackberries. Smooth the apple and blackberries down with a spoon to form a level surface. Let it cool slightly – or leave to cool completely and refrigerate if you want to bake it later.

  6. When you’re ready to bake, crumble the topping mix over the apple and blackberries in a generous chunky layer. (Any extra crumble mix can be frozen and baked separately at another time). Bake for 25–30 minutes, until the topping is golden-brown and the fruit is bubbling.

  7. To make the custard, put the milk and cream into a saucepan with the vanilla pod and seeds, if using. Bring to just below the boil, then take off the heat and leave to cool for 10 minutes.

  8. Beat the egg yolks, sugar, and cornflour, if using, together in a bowl. Slowly pour the warm milk over the eggs, whisking as you do so, then tip in the vanilla pod, if using. Return the mixture to the pan and place over a medium-low heat. Cook, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until the custard is steaming and has thickened noticeably (traditionally, it should ‘coat the back of the spoon’). Don’t let it start to simmer, or it will split and curdle. (If you have used cornflour, you will be able to get it a bit hotter and thicker, but still don’t boil it!)

  9. As soon as the custard is thickened, take it off the heat and keep stirring for a minute or two longer to help it cool a little without cooking any further. If you haven’t used the whole vanilla pod, add the vanilla extract now. Remove the custard from the heat as soon as it is hot and keep stirring to stop it cooking any further. Transfer to a warmed jug to serve.

  10. Serve the crumble with a generous helping of custard and enjoy!

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