So not gonna lie, this recipe came to fruition after I noticed we had some half-full Bonne Maman jars of jam in the press that I wanted to use up really quick so that I could have the empty jars. You're probably familiar with this brand; it's sold overseas, but can be a little pricey. But y'know, with some things you just pay for quality. Now, I would consider myself a hugely superficial kinda gal.... But if it's French and comes in nice packaging, I will spend the extra money! It's kinda like I just feel like I'm paying for a) the food itself, b) a nice prop for my cupboard, c) packaging I will reuse (so hello, technically I'm being very thrifty!) and d) a little bit of Frenchy-ness. A 'lifestyle' product, I say! Buying French food is kind of a back-up plan for if I never actually get living in France. Yep, I put a lot of thought into my grocery-shopping. It's an art form, really. Funny enough though, my shopping companions tend to think it's just me being a pain in the ass and wanting the most expensive products. Whatever... My lovely Bonne Maman jars look cute with simple home-made labels and filled with my spices and dried herbs. And I don't mean to get competitive, but cheap, ugly jars just won't do. (Is it kinda bad that my first "I'm RIGHT" moment of the day has come while talking about jam jars?)
Anyway, time to remember that "it's what's inside that's important"- the jam. I've used the blueberry and raspberry ones, but of course you can use whichever flavour you have. This recipe is handy because the only fresh fruit needed are apples, which have a longer shelf-life. Fresh berries can be expensive and tend to go bad quickly, but they would be great for a crumble. Really, crumbles are so versatile and such a classic. Switch up the fruit and nuts accordingly and you're bound to please!
* 2 cups of rolled oats
* 1 cup of plain flour
* 1 cup of ground almonds
* Handful of chopped nuts. (I used a mix of chopped hazelnuts and flaked almonds for texture and extra flavour.)
* 150g of butter
* 100g golden caster sugar
* 1 teaspoon of mixed spice
* Pinch of cinnamon
* 2 cooking apples
* About 10 tablespoons of jam; 5 of blueberry and 5 of raspberry.
* Zest and juice of one orange
* 1 level tablespoon of cornflour
* An extra knob of butter and pinch of sugar for caramelizing the apples.
On a low heat, caramelize the chopped apples with a little butter and sugar. Cook for 5-10 minutes until the apples are tender, but not too soft and mushy. Add in the orange zest and juice, the jam and then gradually the cornflour. In a separate bowl, rub together the sugar, oats, flour, spices and nuts with your fingertips until the mixture resembles peas. Well, funny-shaped, non-green peas. :) In an ovenproof dish, tip in the fruit and then scatter over the oaty crumble mixture. Bake for 25-30 minutes at 180 degrees Celsius, covering with tinfoil for the first 15-20 minutes to prevent your crumble drying out too much. Allow to cool slightly before serving. I feel like such a rustic, old-fashioned dessert deserves an old-school accompaniment. My choice? Good ol' fashioned, from-when-you-were-a-kid custard. Failing that, good vanilla ice-cream or creme Chantilly.