The G&G cup of bucolic idealism was overflowing this weekend at the gloriously twee Chadlington Apple Day – a village celebration of the apple harvest. The sun shone on straw-hatted men pressing apples, rosy-cheeked children apple bobbing and WI ladies selling jars of apple sauce (I might have made that last bit up, but surely it was classic jam and Jerusalem territory). But for a badly knitted cardigan I could have fallen into a Miss Marple novel (“golly, the Reverend’s been drowned in a cider barrel!”)

We went along to do a cookery demonstration featuring, what else, apples. We took our scrumptious apples (the variety is actually called Scrumptious) and made a stove-top apple crumble that’s so quick you could have it made in the time it would take [insert suitably quick idyllic pastoral activity here].

Stove Top Apple Crumble

  • 3 small firm apples (nothing too floury or they’ll disintegrate when you fry them)
  • knob of butter
  • 1 tbsp dark brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp jumbo oats
  • 1 tbsp medium oatmeal
  • 1 tbsp linseed porridge oats (or other fine ground oats)
  • 1 tbsp flaked almonds
  • 20g butter
  • 20g light brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp creme fraiche
  • 1 spring thyme

Serves 2 hungry apple pressers.

Core, but don’t peel, the apples, cut them into wedges and toss them in the sugar. Melt the butter over a medium heat and, when foaming, add the apples and fry until golden brown turning occasionally. Take the pan off the heat and lift the apples into a bowl. Leave the juices behind in the pan.

Put the oats, oatmeal, linseed porridge, flaked almonds, sugar and butter in a bowl and rub them together with your fingertips until the butter is evenly distributed. Tip the mixture into the pan with all the lovely apple juices and set it over a medium/high heat. Cook the crumble until it’s golden brown and the butter and sugars have melted to create sticky, caramel nuggets of crumble.  Keep the mixture moving so it doesn’t burn though.

To serve, scatter the crumble over the apples, spoon over some creme fraiche and sprinkle with fresh thyme leaves.

(Incidentally, the crumble will keep in a tuppaware for a few days and is lovely sprinkled over yogurt and so forth.)