Apple and Strawberry Crumble with a Chewy Oat Topping

There are just too many distractions around me at the moment. Although, I will admit, that it is kind of my own fault…

I’ve just wrapped up a huge project at work and finally got the 84-page monster off to the printer, I’m participating in The Kitchn’s Baking School, I’m still trying to find the optimum layout for my spices in my new pantry, not to mention the boxes that still need to be unpacked, and, unfortunately, I am watching a lot of TV.

Apple-Strawberry Crumble with Oat Topping

You see, I had to – yes, had to – sign up for pay TV… How else was I going to watch The Great Australian Bake Off?? But access to the food channel brings along with it a whole host of shows that I have suddenly been suckered into watching.

This has made cooking dinner very difficult and taking twice as long as it should…

I am very grateful that these are the worst of my concerns at the moment.

I will admit that I did enjoy a fun evening prepping fruit for a crumble on the coffee table whilst watching some food show.

Apple-Strawberry Crumble with Oat Topping

It that time of year again, that even if you are in a different hemisphere, pumpkin and apple goods are appearing everywhere. Or it could be that they have always been there and I’m just paying more attention to what’s around at the moment.

Whilst at the market hunting for some purple cauliflower, I found some beautiful apple cider-toasted oats, and with strawberries on sale at the next stall, an oat-topped apple and strawberry crumble was a no brainer. It’s seasonal for both my fall-happy friends on the other side of the world and for us here who are experiencing quite a fickle spring.

This worked out quite well seeing as I’m co-hosting Fiesta Friday #90 this week with Angie @The Novice Gardener and Lindy @Love in the Kitchen. Can you believe we’ve had 90 awesome fiestas? Ten to go before what I’m sure will be a huge extravaganza! So join in and share your recipes with us this week and stick around to chat with some lovely people.

Apple and Strawberry Crumble

Apple-Strawberry Crumble with Oat Topping

The amount of fruit needed for a crumble all depends on the size of the baking dish you are using. Just keep cutting fruit until the baking dish is three-quarters full, which will allow room for the crumble topping. If you fill it right to the top, bake it with an empty baking sheet underneath to catch any juices that might bubble over. The amount of fruit I used filled a 33cm x 25cm oval baking dish.

Ingredients

  • 6 apples (peeled and chopped into small, even pieces)
  • 1 punnet of strawberries (cleaned, topped and chopped into quarters)
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • ¼ cup demerara sugar (or a bit more depending on taste or the sweetness of your fruit)
  • 3 teaspoons ground cinnamon (divided)
  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 60g all-purpose flour
  • 100g light brown sugar
  • Around 4 grates of a nutmeg seed, or to taste
  • 70g butter (melted)
  • Vanilla ice cream (to serve, optional)

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 190°C.
  2. Toss the chopped apples and strawberries together with the lemon juice and pour into the baking dish. Sprinkle with the sugar and 2 teaspoons of cinnamon, and then stir to combine. Set aside.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine the oats, flour, sugar, remaining cinnamon and nutmeg. Add in the melted butter and stir to combine. If the mixture is to dry and not clumping, add a little water to help bring the oats together into a soft clumps.
  4. Top the chopped fruit with oat crumble topping, gently spreading the mixture around as much as possible.
  5. Place the baking dish into the oven and bake for about 35 to 45 minutes, or until the oat crumble topping is golden brown – it goes from golden to brown very quickly so keep an eye on it in the last few minutes.
  6. Allow to stand for at least 5 minutes, 10 minutes is better, before serving, with or without ice cream and a teaspoon of sticky juice from the bottom of the baking dish.

Apple and Cinnamon Hot Cross Buns

It seemed that we had just ushered in 2014 when hot cross buns first made their appearance this year. Seriously, they’ve been commercially available for so long this year that they don’t really seem like a special treat anymore.

Treat or not, when I saw the first hot cross bun of the year back in January, I decided that this was they year I would finally make hot cross buns… and not just any hot cross buns either; I was going to make sultana-free hot cross buns!

So people, happy Easter, happy Pesach, happy hot cross bun season.

Hot Cross Buns

 

Apple and Cinnamon Hot Cross Buns

Makes 20 hot cross buns.

Recipe very slightly altered by Emma Knowles, as found on the Australian Gourmet Traveller website.

Ingredients

  • 325g raw caster sugar
  • 1 lemon
  • 1½ Granny Smith apples (unpeeled, cored and diced)
  • 1 cinnamon quill
  • 750g plain flour
  • 100g dried apple (diced)
  • 30g candied orange (diced)
  • 14g dried yeast
  • 3½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon allspice
  • Finely grated rind of 1 orange and 1 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 380ml milk
  • 100gm butter (coarsely chopped)
  • 1 egg

Method

  1. Combine 260g sugar and 375ml water in a saucepan, then squeeze in juice of half a lemon and stir over medium-high heat until sugar dissolves.
  2. Meanwhile, cut remaining lemon half into 5mm-thick slices, add to pan with the diced apple and cinnamon quill. Bring to the simmer, reduce heat to medium and cook until lemon and apple are translucent, 20-25 minutes.
  3. Strain, reserving fruit and syrup separately. When cool enough to handle, dice lemon, combine with apple and set aside.
  4. Combine 700g flour, dried apple, candied orange, yeast, 3 teaspoons ground cinnamon, allspice, rinds, remaining sugar, reserved apple mixture (not the syrup) and salt in a large bowl and make a well in the centre.
  5. Combine milk and butter in a small saucepan and warm over low heat until butter melts and mixture is lukewarm.
  6. Whisk in the egg and then strain the milk and egg mixture into the flour, stirring to form a soft dough.*
  7. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 8-10 minutes.
  8. Place the dough in a lightly buttered bowl, cover and stand in a warm place until doubled in size, approximately 30-40 minutes.
  9. Knock back the dough, divide it into 20 even pieces, then knead each piece into a smooth ball.
  10. Arrange dough balls into two concentric circles on a large round or rectangular baking tray lined with baking paper, leaving 1cm between each for dough to expand.
  11. Cover with a tea towel and stand in a warm place until doubled in size, about 30-40 minutes.
  12. Preheat oven to 220°C. Combine remaining flour and 70ml cold water in a bowl and stir to a smooth paste. Spoon into a piping bag fitted with a small plain nozzle and pipe a cross shape onto each bun.
  13. Bake for 10 minutes, reduce oven to 200°C and bake until golden and buns sound hollow when tapped, approximately 8-10 minutes.
  14. Meanwhile, combine reserved apple syrup and remaining ground cinnamon in a small saucepan and stir over medium heat until syrupy and combined.
  15. Brush thickly over hot buns, then transfer to a wire rack to cool.

 

* It is important to strain the egg and milk mixture into the flour mixture so that you can catch any bits of egg that might have scrambled from the warm temperature of the milk.

 

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