Crunchy almond flakes, juicy apples, refreshing lemon, pumpkin pie spices, and crispy, buttery crumble top sound nice, right? But stop, there’s more! This warm apple crumble is paired with silky butter and cardamom sauce – an irresistible addition to complement this modest, rustic dessert.
Lately, I’m totally into simple, rustic desserts, and apple crumble fits perfectly to that category: simple, rustic fruit dessert that is baked in the oven. Besides apples, crumble filling usually consists of peaches, berries, apricots, plums, pears and if you’re lucky, rhubarb.
This apple crumble was the first thing I baked just after the earthquake that happened in late March in Zagreb this year. Because of all things that have been happening lately, I have somewhat felt that I no longer have control over my life.
It’s a bit scary.
And then we got home in Slavonia. Whenever I go to Slavonia, I say that I go home and when I get back to Zagreb, I say the same. Can a man have two homes?
For me, the home is where the people you love are and with whom you can share your meal, so I know I can. Guess I’m one lucky girl.
My mom and sis’ helped me pull out that old, mint green table that was waiting for someone to bring it back to life after such long time, so I set it up for a photo shooting.
I went to the pantry to see what do we have available from the ingredients: there were apples, almond flakes, and raisins. Some cane sugar on the kitchen counter, butter in the fridge (always) and some fresh lemon.
And that’s how this beautiful apple crumble came into life. All of a sudden, everything made sense again.
Difference between a cobbler, crumble and crisp
I wanted to post this recipe before Easter, but the days went by so fast and somehow it didn’t make sense for me to publish it a few days before Easter when everyone was in the mood for more sophisticated desserts.
If you think about it closely, it’s actually not that easy to determine what a crumble is at all: a cake, sweet breakfast or some weird type of pie?
Crumble, like the cobbler, uses reverse logic in comparison to fruit tarts: fruit is the base of desserts and pastry goes on the top.
But, since I’m a total food geek, I wondered what is the real difference between a crumble, cobbler, and crisp? As usual, as it is the case with food and recipes, those differences are often blurred, and this is one of the controversial discussions. Just like the one about the origin of hummus.
You know what cobblestone looks like? Apparently, the cobbler got its name because the pieces of pie dough are arranged just like that. You know, like the streets of Upper Town in Zagreb (if you’re ever been). That mixture that forms the top of this dessert is often slightly moist and not as crunchy as the crumble or crisp but the fruit filling is pretty much the same as filling for other deep-dish baked fruit desserts.
When it comes to crisp, the top layer has to be very crunchy compared to a cobbler and crumble. That crispness is usually achieved with nuts, oatmeal or even granola!
Crumble seems like the easiest option here: a simple mix of flour, butter, and sugar is everything you need for delicious, crumbly pastry. OK, I’ve added some almond flakes also.
I mean, who could possibly resist them when they become so golden and crunchy!
Do you think this is complicated? Well, the terminology conundrum is just at its beginning! There are also recipes for the slump, grunt, sonker, buckle, betty … and probably something else I missed mentioning.
As far as I’m concerned, as long as it is tasty and prepared with quality ingredients, it will be enough for me to dip a spoon into that warm, fruity, buttery mess and simply enjoy myself.
Why do we love these modest, rustic desserts
These baked fruit desserts are great because:
- They are excellent for using up the seasonal fruit
- You can easily control thy type and amount of sugar you’ll use
- They are prepared quickly
- Great for sharing with your loved ones
- You don’t need to be a pastry chef to get excellent results
- Very adaptable to the ingredients that you have at home
What to serve with apple crumble
I like my apple crumble with a scoop of vanilla ice cream but guess what: that as impossible to buy those days I’ve spent in the countryside in at my parent’s house. Because, you know – quarantine, pandemics, isolation and aaaalllll other magical words.
I had some heavy cream in the fridge so I made simple cardamom butter sauce for which I found inspiration on The Kitchn website.
I changed the sugar and butter ratios in the sauce because I wanted it a bit lighter and less sweet than the original. But it’s still silky, sweet and yummy and it gives this crumble a whole new dimension!
If you want it on the healthier side, you could also serve it with a scoop of Greek yogurt.
So, tell me! Do you like to bake crumble, cobbler or crisp? What is your favorite fruit for this kind of dessert? Do you have any idea for recipes you want to see here on the blog? Please, do tell!
For some more inspiration, you can find me on Pinterest too!