Friday, 23 April 2010
Today, Friday the 23rd of April happens to be St George's Day. This just would not be an "English" kitchen without cooking something up to celebrate this auspiciously English occasion.
For those of you who don't know it, St George's Day is the National day of England. St George is the Patron Saint of England, and at one time this special day, set aside in his honour, was heralded with great feasting and celebration, being on par only with Christmas day. That could not be said today, although in recent years it's popularity is again on the increase and you will once again see St George's Day Celebrations and activities happening throughout the country in various places!
I was trying to think of a quintessentially English dish to make to celebrate the day. There were loads I came up with. After all the English are known throughout the world for their Roast Beef and Yorkshire Puddings, Fish and Chips, and oddly enough, Chicken Tikka Masala.
One thing that the English are really, really good at though, is their puddings, which is the name that is given over here to most desserts. You don't have dessert in most places . . . you have pudding, and one of the favourites has to be good old fashioned fruit crumbles.
You can't beat a good crumble, and if you combine tart Bramley cooking apples and sweet hedgerow Blackberries together in one, you have the perfect English pudding in my opinion.
This is a fantastic crumble, with a rich and buttery topping that is a bit different than most crumbles in that it includes flaked toasted almonds, which give it an added crunch and unique and nutty flavour.
With it's buttery, crunchy nutty topping and it's sweet/tart fruit filling, this is a real winner all round. I have added a bit of Peach Schnapps to the filling, which added another dimension of flavour to the dish, and if you really want to be English about it . . . lashings of warm custard ladled over top of the hot crumble are a definite given!
Happy St George's Day!
*Apple and Blackberry Crumble*
Serves 8 to 10
This came about one day when I was going to make an apple and blackberry fool. I forgot to buy the plain yoghurt and so ended up making a fruit crumble instead. It turned out delicious with a buttery almond filled crispy topping and sweet/tart fruit filling. Scrummy!
For the topping:
6 ¼ ounces plain flour
5 ¼ ounces caster sugar
1 tsp salt
4 ounces cold butter, cut into cubes
¾ cup flaked almonds, toasted
For the fruit filling:
3 (250g) punnets of blackberries
(fresh or frozen)
2 large brameley apples, peeled and sliced
5 ¼ ounces caster sugar
2 TBS corn flour
½ tsp salt
1 TBS peach schnapps
Preheat the oven to 200*C/400*F. Lightly butter a large shallow baking dish. Set aside.
Place the flour and sugar into a large bowl. Drop in the butter. Rub this into the flour and sugar until the mixture resembles fine crumbs. Stir in the salt and the flaked almonds.
Place the blackberries and apples in a large bowl. Toss in the sugar, corn flour and salt. Sprinkle the peach schnapps over top. Toss together with your hands until well mixed. Spread into the prepared baking dish.
Squeeze the crumb mixture gently between your hands gently to make large crumbles. Drop on top of the fruit in the baking dish, covering it completely and trying not to break up the almonds too much.
Bake for 45 to 55 minutes until the topping is golden brown and the fruit is bubbling. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 30 minutes before serving.
Lashings of cream or custard are a MUST!