My love of Autumn stems back to childhood. Kicking fallen leaves is still one of my favourite things to do and I have been known to cross the road in the past if the other side is of better leaf kicking quality!
It’s also the time hibernation commences. I strongly believe all humans should partake in the occasional spell of hibernation. There’s nothing like switching off technology, locking the front door and sitting by the fire with a hot drink and a big cosy jumper. Time to catch up on your favourite magazine. Read that book you’ve been meaning too or pick up that sketchbook and pen.
For me, hibernation starts in October. The curtains are closed as soon as is justifiable. The world is shut out for the evening and pyjamas are on the same time as the kids. The candles are lit and the fire is stoked. Its the time I switch from smoothies to porridge for breakfast. A time when soup is a perfectly suitable meal most days and I crave stews and one pot dinners. Then of course, there is Crumble!
Apple crumble is my treat for that extra bit of comfort when the nights start drawing in. There are many variations of crumble recipes out there but the one I use and have found to be the most likely to have me heading back to the fridge for third helpings is this:
Apple Crumble Recipe
Serves 8, no 4, possibly 6 depending on how big your portions are!
◦ Approx 500g of Brambley Apples, peeled cored & sliced into 1cm chunks (ish) You can use eating apples if you’d prefer which offer a slightly healthier version as less sugar is needed. I’d use 1 tbsp of caster sugar rather than 2.
◦ 2 tbsp Caster Sugar
◦ 175g Plain Flour
◦ 110g Caster Sugar
◦ 110g cold butter, cubed
◦ Pinch of salt
◦ 1tbsp Oats
◦ 1tbsp light brown sugar
Fill up a baking dish with the chopped apples. Squash down with your hand and sprinkle over the 2 tbsp’s of caster sugar.
Place the flour and 110g caster sugar in a bowl with good pinch of salt. Rub in the cold cubed butter with your fingertips to create a breadcrumb texture.
Pour the crumble mix over the apples and flatten down with the back of a fork to even it out and so it holds together when cooked. Sprinkle the light brown sugar and the oats evenly over the top.
Pop into into a pre heated oven at 170 / gas 5, for 35 – 40 minutes until the top is golden and the apples are soft.
Try waiting 10 minutes or so before consuming as burning of the mouth can occur to the impatient kind. (Trust me I know!)
Life of course, does go on and true hibernation is not an option but then if it were, I’d have to have some time off each week to head outdoors. To kick those leaves and to breath in those cold crisp mornings because without these I wouldn’t be reminded how wonderful it is to see & feel the seasons changing and that would be very sad indeed.
But as the clocks change, and the days get shorter, its highly likely I’m to be found in my pjs, fighting with the dog for the warm spot by the fire, bowl of crumble in one hand, spoon in the other.