You can’t go wrong with a fruit crumble when you want a simple and satisfying dessert. Fruit crumbles fall into the comfort food category to me, largely because they were a staple in my house when I was growing up. I’ll make small-batch crumbles for myself as a treat and bigger ones when I’m entertaining. This Apple & Blackberry Crumble is a good option any time of the year and this recipe makes enough to share.
The amount of fruit that you need to make this crumble is not set in stone. I wouldn’t recommend using less fruit than I suggest in the recipe, but you can fit in more if your baking dish is deep enough. There is plenty of crumble topping to accommodate a lot of fruit! As it stands, I recommend using 6-7 large apples and 2-3 cups of blackberries. There is a small amount of sugar in the filling. If you are using very tart apples, consider being a bit more generous with the sugar.
Though I tend to make it throughout the summer when blackberries are readily available, you can make this crumble all year round using frozen blackberries. The frozen berries work just as well as fresh in a crumble like this one. Apples, of course, are best when they are fresh. I peel and cut the apples into 10-12 slices, then cut the slices in half crosswise to make smaller pieces. The smaller apple chunks ensure that you get a more even distribution of fruit in your baking dish, avoiding pockets that are formed when larger apple slices bridge over smaller fruits.
The crumble topping is an easy-to-make mixture of flour, sugar and butter. I used a blend of all purpose and whole wheat flour to add a little complexity to the crumble, as the whole wheat flour brings in a subtle nuttiness. That said, you can certainly use all white flour in this recipe. If you want to use all whole wheat, increase the sugar by a few tablespoons because the topping is not overly sweet on its own.
When it is baked, the topping is crisp and the fruit is tender. There is just enough sugar in the dessert to bring out the natural sweetness of the fruit and let it be the star! The crumble should be served when it is still slightly warm, with a side of whipped cream or ice cream if you’re feeling indulgent.
Apple & Blackberry Crumble
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 cup butter, chilled and cut into 7-8 pieces
6-7 large apples
2-3 cups blackberries, fresh or frozen
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350F.
Prepare the topping:In a large bowl, whisk together flours, sugar, salt and cinnamon. Add butter and cut in using a pastry cutter (or rum in using your fingertips) until mixture resembles wet sand. Grab handfuls of the mixture and squeeze firmly to form clumps.
Prepare the filling: Peel and core the apples. Cut each apple half into 5 or 6 slices, then cut them in half crosswise to make pieces about 1 to 1 1/2-inch in length. Combine apples, blackberries, sugar and vanilla in a large bowl and toss to combine. Transfer to 9×13-inch baking dish and spread into an even layer.
Sprinkle topping mixture evenly over the filling.
Bake for 50-60 minutes, or until fruit is tender and bubbling, and the topping is light golden brown.
Allow crumble to cool slightly before serving.