Apple and blackberry crumble

Apple and blackberry crumble

Social Suppers
John Carey

I love crumbles and this one has been on our Pollen Street Social menu for the longest time. We serve the dessert in a fun way at the restaurant. Our waiters will bring out all the components and assemble the dessert tableside in a counter-intuitive manner. The mascarpone and cinnamon ice cream is placed at the bottom of each bowl and this is followed by the apple and blackberry compote and crumble. Saying that, it is delicious whichever way you plate it.


Quantity Ingredient

For the marinated apple wedges

Quantity Ingredient
125g caster sugar
75ml cider
1/2 vanilla pod, split in half lenghtways, seeds scraped out with a knife
1 large (or 2 medium) apple(s), peeled, cored and sliced into thin wedges

For the apple and blackberry compote

Quantity Ingredient
1kg bramley apples, peeled, cored and roughly chopped, (about 5 or 6)
a squeeze lemon juice
60-100g caster sugar, to taste
1 vanilla pod, split in half, seeds scraped out with a knife
100g blackberries

For the crumble

Quantity Ingredient
45g softened butter
45g demerara sugar
45g caster sugar
45g ground almonds
45g plain flour
20g blanched hazelnuts, coarsely chopped
20g blanched almonds, coarsely chopped

To serve

Quantity Ingredient
a handful blackberries
a few sprigs lemon thyme, leaves only
Mascarpone cinnamon ice cream
or Vanilla ice cream
or creme fraiche


  1. First, prepare the marinated apple slices. Put the sugar into a heavy-based saucepan and place the pan over a medium–high heat. As the sugar begins to melt around the edges, tilt the pan slightly from side to side to encourage the sugar to melt evenly. When the caramel has turned to a terracotta colour, stand back and pour in the cider, taking care, as the hot caramel will spit and splutter upon contact with the cold liquid. If the caramel hardens at this point, stir it over a medium heat to melt it down again. Add the vanilla pod and seeds and boil for a few minutes to allow the flavours to infuse, then take the pan off the heat.
  2. Place the apple wedges into a bowl and pour over the caramel. Leave to cool completely, then cover with cling film and chill overnight.
  3. To make the apple and blackberry compote, put three-quarters of the diced apple in a heavy-based pan and the remainder in a bowl of water with a squeeze of lemon juice. Add the sugar, vanilla seeds and pod, and a few tablespoons of water to the pan then cook over a low heat for about 10 minutes, until the apples are soft. Drain and stir in the reserved diced apple and cook for another 5 minutes until the pieces are just tender but still holding their shape. Transfer to a bowl and leave to cool before folding through the blackberries. If making ahead, cool completely then cover and chill until needed.
  4. For the crumble, preheat the oven to 150°C. Place all the ingredients in a large mixing bowl and stir together until combined. Spread the mixture on to a lightly greased baking tray and bake for 20 minutes until lightly golden brown and crisp. Leave to cool and store in an airtight container if making in advance.
  5. When ready to serve, warm the apple compote in a pan and the crumble in a low oven, as necessary. Spoon the compote into shallow serving bowls. Arrange a few slices of marinated apple next to the compote, draining off the excess caramel (save the caramel to drizzle over ice cream or yoghurt). Top the compote with the warm crumble then scatter over some fresh blackberries and lemon thyme leaves. Add a scoop of ice cream or crème fraîche on the side, as wished, and serve immediately.
Jason Atherton
Pollen Street Social
Modern European
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