Autumn is for Apple Crumble

I have a tendency to casually post my cooking and baking escapades on my Instagram Stories. But these days when I do that, someone will almost always ask for a recipe. I recently posted an apple crumble in-the-making in my Stories, and didn’t think much of it until I received DM replies asking for a recipe. The people have spoken, so here I am, giving the people what they rightfully deserve. A warm, comforting, tasty apple crumble they can whip up at home on a Sunday afternoon.

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To be honest, I had a list of ideas I wanted to post on the blog for the Fall season. I love Fall and blogging about its magic is a way of embracing it, and re-visiting it anytime I want to. So away I went in my blogging calendar, jotting down caramel apples for September and pumpkin breads for October. I have a Fall Decor post sitting in my drafts, and I’m still trying to decide what I’m going to do for a Halloween costume.

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The truth is, it’s just been a busy Fall. I had family visiting in September, work has been busy, Mika and went on a short trip, and my next blog post will explain exactly why my mind has been distracted in la-la-land 🙂

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Back to reality: it was Thanksgiving in Canada last weekend and I wanted to bake something quick and easy with ingredients we already had at home. We had just come back from our trip so we didn’t have time to shop or prep a fancy delicacy, as much as my calendar-planning, list-checking, picture-taking, Virgoan perfectionist blogger self wanted to. An apple crumble fit the bill for something simple, tasty, Autumny – and without even planning it – blog-worthy.

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What I love about this crumble is that it’s not very sweet. It’s actually tart, especially if you’re using Granny Smith apples, which is what I used for this recipe. The comforting part about this recipe, to me, is that it truly encompasses the aromas of the seasons with the cinnamon, the nutmeg and the cardamom. Although we had this at a family Thanksgiving dinner, this can totally be enjoyed as a “sweet breakfast” paired with a banana, some nuts and your morning coffee.

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Speaking of nuts, you can totally add chopped walnuts or pecans to the crumble (I actually love it with nuts), but we have a few family members with nut allergies, so that part was skipped. Instead, vanilla ice cream completed the package.

One thing to note: contrary to what I actually did, the key to this crumble is to keep the topping as, well, a crumble. I patted down the topping more than I needed to, so keep in mind to “sprinkle” your topping, not pat down. Regardless, it was delicious and although it wasn’t the caramel apples or pumpkin bread I had envisioned for the blog, it certainly checked the list for warm, spiced, cozy Fall goodness.

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Recipe

Ingredients for Filling:

6-8 apples, peeled and sliced thinly
¼ cup lemon juice
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground nutmeg
½ tsp cardamom (optional)
½ cup brown sugar
1 cup flour

Ingredients for Topping:

1 ½ cup large oats
½ cup brown sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground nutmeg
¾ cup unsalted butter, melted
1 tsp vanilla extract
¾ cup chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350F. Generously butter a 9×9 baking dish.
2. For the filling: in a large bowl, mix apple slices, lemon juice, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, brown sugar and flour. Toss until evenly coated.
3. Transfer apple filling into buttered baking dish.
4. For the topping: in the same bowl used for filling, add oats, brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Mix until well combined.
5. Melt butter. Once butter has cooled enough to handle with your hands (note: butter should still be warm, just not burning hot), add vanilla to the butter and stir to combine.
6. Add butter mixture to the topping, mixing all together to combine. Topping mixture should just barely clump – add more butter if necessary.
7. Sprinkle topping over the apples, enough to cover surface.
8. Bake at 350F for 45-50 minutes, or until golden brown on top and sides bubble. Let cool for 10-15 minutes before serving. Can also be served at room temperature. Scoop of vanilla ice cream optional, but highly recommended 🙂

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