6medium-sizedMcIntosh applesor another sweet-tart variety (about 2½ pounds)
6ouncesblackberries(fresh or frozen)
½cupbutter, unsalted, cold
1cupall-purpose flour, unbleached
Whipped Cream(optional, to top the crumble)
Prepare the filling:
Preheat the oven to 400° F. Have an 8-inch x 8-inch baking pan ready.
Pour the lemon juice into a large bowl. Peel, core, and slice the apples into 1-inch chunks. (If you're using an apple slicer like I did, cut each wedge into 3 pieces.) Place the apple chunks in the bowl and after each addition toss them in the lemon juice to keep them from turning brown.
Add the 2 tablespoons of sugar to the bowl, along with the ground cloves and the pinch of salt and toss the apples to coat them in the sugar and spices.
Slice the blackberries in half (if they are large - if they're tiny you can skip this.) Add the sliced blackberries to the apples and mix them in.
Make the crumble:
Use 1 or 2 teaspoons of the butter to grease the bottom and sides of the baking pan.
Slice the remaining butter into small pieces and place them in a medium bowl. Add the 6 tablespoons of sugar and the flour to the bowl. Use a pastry blender or a fork to cut the butter into the flour and to combine everything together - it is ready when the mixture looks shaggy and most of the loose flour is gathered up by the butter.
Assemble and bake:
Pour the apples and blackberries into the prepared pan, and spread them into an even layer. Sprinkle the flour-butter-sugar mixture evenly over the top of the fruit.
Put the pan in the oven and bake it for 30-35 minutes. The apples should be soft and the crumble topping lightly browned in places.
Remove the pan from the oven to a cooling rack and allow it to rest for 20 to 30 minutes. You can eat it hot from the oven if you really, really can't wait - but you may burn your tongue! Allowing it to rest will also give the juices a little time to set so that the servings are less runny.
Serve portions of the Irish Apple-Blackberry Crumble topped with fresh whipped cream. Leftover crumble can be covered and stored in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Makes about 6 servings.
McIntosh apples are my favorite for baking, but you can also experiment with your preferred varieties. McIntosh apples have great texture and, I think the perfect tartness. If you decide to go with a sweeter variety, adjust the sugar to suit your taste.