See you later hot sticky nights, cool tumblers of mint studded Pimms and summer sandals, we’re officially in autumn.
Cue crisp mornings, sunny afternoons, cosy nights and the aromas of pre –winter goodies filling your kitchen. Those who know me well have to deal with the fact that I will sporadically wake up and spread the message that it’s Easter weather, a term that has been instilled into me from the earliest age from my parents.
Just as food acts as a memory log, embedding beautiful experiences in the flavours shared at the time, perfect weather also sets it off. Together, it’s an unbeatable experience.
Cooler weather calls for robust flavours of rosemary, apple, rhubarb and thyme and sends me all gooey and sentimental about all those years of spending the school holidays at my grandparent’s house as the temperate drops.
One of my most beautiful memories as a child is wandering around my grandfather’s vegie patch in my pyjamas with the smell of rosemary absolutely flooding the space. We would always need to have our showers early to give our hair time to dry properly before going to bed, so the ritual of helping collect the rhubarb for dessert just as the sun started to go down called for the uniform of flannelette.
There’s nothing more comforting than a warm bowl of crumble, generously doused in homemade vanilla custard, or in my dad’s case, an extra drizzle of cream as well. Maybe it’s a country thing.
It’s calming, nourishing and embodies everything about creating beautiful food for your family and friends.
My version strays a little from my grandma’s version, packed with a little more superfoods and a little less sugar but definitely hits the pre winter spot.
Apple and blueberry crumble with vanilla almond milk custard
For the filling:
3 granny smith apples, cored and chopped and skin left on
1 tsp organic vanilla essence
1/2 lemon or lime, juiced
1 cinannamon stick
2 star anise
100g frozen blueberries
For the crumble:
1 cup old fashioned oats
1 cup roasted almonds, chopped
1/2 cup coconut
1tsp ground ginger
1/2 cup buckwheat flour
5 dates, soaked and chopped
Pinch of salt
1 tbsp pepitas
3 tbsp coconut oil
1 tbsp honey
For the custard:
2 cups unsweetened almond milk
1 tbsp cornflour
1 tbsp honey
1 tbsp vanilla essence
1. Combine the apples, vanilla, lemon, cinnamon and star anise in a saucepan over low heat, stirring occassionally
2. If the apples start to stick add a little water and cook until almost tender
3. Add the frozen blueberries, combine and turn off the heat and leave to cool
4. To make the crumble, combine the butter, honey, coconut oil, almonds, buckwheat flour and dates in a food processor and pulse until the mixture resembles bread crumbs
5. Add the coconut, ginger, salt and oats and pulse until combined, then stir in pepitas
6. Spoon filling into a pie dish and scatter crumble on top
7. Bake in a moderate oven until golden and filling is bubbling, about 20 minutes
8. To make the custard, combine the almond milk, honey, nutmeg and vanilla in a saucepan and almost bring to a boil
9. Combine egg and cornflour in a small bowl
9. Take off the heat and quickly stir in cornflour and egg mixture
10. Place saucepan back on the heat and whisk over low until custard is thick