The cold was our pride, the snow was our beauty. It fell and fell, lacing day and night together in a milky haze, making everything quieter as it fell, so that winter seemed to partake of religion in a way no other season did . . . hushed . . . solemn.
oh winter . . . winter . . . these bitterly cold days that make one want to cling to the warmth of the hearth . . . and all the comforts of home . . .
There is something about the chill of winter that makes things like hearty stews, soups and desserts taste much better than they do at any other time of year . . . they truly warm the soul and comfort the heart.
My spoon dips beneath the crisp oaty sweet and buttery crumble, to find hidden beneath . . . the softness of autumn apples and berries, tart and lightly sweetened with some sugar . . . having been tucked away and kept for just such a moment . . .
The moment my heart would need a whisper of sunshine days gone past . . . and the promise of harvests yet to come . . .
My spoon glides beneath the earthy sweetness of the fruits . . . and the milky sweet blanket of custard, and I am home . . . sweet . . . home.
*Apple, Blackberry and Oat Crumble*
A delicious crumble with a scrummy brown sugar oaty crumble topping!
3 to 4 large cooking apples, peeled and cut into chunks
1 TBS water
3 TBS granulated sugar
200g of fresh or frozen blackberries (about 1 cup)
For the crumble topping:
5 ounces plain flour (a generous cupful)
1 tsp ground cinnamon
3 ounces butter, chilled and cubed (approx 1/3 cup)
1 ounce porridge oats (1/3 cup)
3 ounces soft light brown sugar (scant 1/2 cup, packed)
Custard, ice cream, or whipped cream to serve
Butter a 1 litre pie dish and set aside. Preheat the oven to 180*C/350*F/ gas mark 4.
Place the apples in a saucepan along with the water and sugar. Set over gentle heat and cook, stirring every few minutes, until the apples become a soft pulp. Taste and add more sugar if needed. Set aside to cool slightly. Spoon half the apples into the baking dish. Sprinkle with half the blackberries. Repeat with the remaining fruit.
To make the crumble topping. Stir the flour and cinnamon together in a bowl. Rub in the butter with your finger tips until coarsely crumbled. Stir in the oats and brown sugar. Sprinkle this crumb mixture evenly over top. Bake for 30 to 45 minutes until cooked and golden brown. Serve warm with whipped cream, ice cream or custard.