Blackberry and apple crumble

by Alison, 21/09/2013

I love blackberry picking and I have been looking forward to it ever since a friend posted on our Facebook page asking me, if I had any suggestions for her glut of blackberries. I was surprised that someone would think that I might have some tasty ideas. I feel as if I received a lot more inspiration from her then I gave. 

This was in August, far too early for blackberries in our part of the world. At the time the hedgerows were still full of the beautiful flowers and hard, red berries. However now it is September and the brambles are full of delicious blackberries, ripe for the picking. Like growing your own food, I think there is nothing nicer then to eat something you have foraged for. Though I must admit, I think blackberries are the only food  I have ever foraged for. My knowledge of what plant are safe to eat is pretty limited. 

Nevertheless, in my mind it is a nice way to spend an hour or two. Scrambling in hedges, detangling jumpers from brambles, fingers and nails turning purple and the dull thud of the first blackberries as they land in the box, turning into a muffled softness as the box begins to fill. 

I love blackberries as they are so versatile  No matter what your preference  you can use them in sweet or savoury dishes, preserve them as jams or chutneys, freeze them for use throughout the year or turn them into cordials or as I recently learned, flavored alcohols.

Below is my current take on a tried and tested combination. It is the first thing that comes to mind when I think of blackberries. Homely, warm and it was just right last weekend when the first 30mph winds of the season were battering our house (hard to believe sitting in the gorgeous Dublin sunshine today). 

I cannot claim this recipe as an original, but neither can I credit any one particular person. Either way I hope you enjoy it!

Ingredients for the crumble:
8oz / 225g blackberries
1lb / 450g apples (peeled and cored)
1oz / 30g castor sugar
2tbs water

Ingredients for the filling:
3oz / 75g flour
3oz / 75g ground almonds
1oz / 30g oats (I used traditional jumbo oats)
3oz / 75g butter
3oz / 75g castor sugar

Gently whipped cream, ice-cream, whatever you fancy.

Pre-heat the oven to 180˚C.
Peel and core the apples. Chop them. Add them to a saucepan with 2tbs of water and the castor sugar. Place the saucepan over a low heat, simmer gently and allow to soften.
While this is simmering, place the flour, ground almonds and oats in a mixing bowl. Mix them together.
Cut the butter into small chunks and rub the butter into the dry mixture until it resembles fine bread-crumbs.
Stir in the castor sugar.
When the apples are softened, remove from the heat and add in the blackberries. Stir these into the apple mixture and pour the mixture into your dish (I used a 10'' x 6.5'' glass dish. The size does not need to be exact but you want to ensure that the proportions of the filling to topping are right). Flatten with the back of a spoon.
Now cover the apple and blackberry mixture with the dry mixture. Spread evenly and again flatten with the back of a spoon.
Place in the oven and cook for 30-40 minutes or until the topping has turned golden and the filling is starting to bubble through the topping.

Best served warm but any left-overs will keep in the fridge for a day or two. 


  1. Eeeek! My teapot is in the shot! :-)

    Also, what a gorgeous description of the picking process - the sounds of the berries going into the box especially. Made me want to go straight out and forage, although Lord knows I am not by nature the foraging type.

    1. It is your teapot. I love it! Perfect for when I'm home alone :) That's excellent, that you now want to scramble through some bushes. The bed is always here if you want to come visit. And if there are none left on the bushes, I still have a couple in the freezer and we can attempt some cooking :)

  2. Hey thought I knew all about crumbles , but this has a few different elements that add a twist- a traditional white flour topping with an almond twist and then porridge oats. So I was intrigued enough to try it. Have one in the oven at this precise moment- will give you our verdict later!

    1. I really hope it worked well. I'm a bit nervous of people trying my recipes, or well adaptations.

  3. No need to be nervous. Topping delicious-think the addition of some oats gave it more bite than usual - though did not have any jumbo just the regular! It went down a treat. Thanks .

    1. Great stuff. I'm really happy to hear that. Great news to end a lovely sunny day in LA-hinch ;p