apple and blackberry crumble

Slowly but surely the leaves are turning, the days are shortening, the rain is falling and the year is beginning to grow weary and fade. Every now and then the dying breaths of summer give us a golden day, but there is no mistaking the steady march into autumn.  With it comes new beauty, though, and new flavours.

I’d love to say I went to the trouble of picking these blackberries myself but alas I came too late to the local blackberry bushes this year.  Most years, though, I enjoy filling tub after tub with wild blackberries on brisk autumn walks, and sporting the thorn-pricked and juice-stained hands to prove it. The apples, however, came from our very own apple tree, so I’m halfway there.

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Serves 6


  • 300g red eating apples
  • 300g blackberries
  • juice + zest of 1 orange
  • 3 tbsps maple syrup/honey
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp ground mixed spice
  • 1.5 cups oats
  • 1.5 cups ground almonds
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup/agave nectar
  • 2 tbsps coconut oil or butter, melted


  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C (160 fan).
  2. To make the topping: in a large bowl combine the oats and ground almonds and mix well. Pour in the maple syrup and coconut oil and continue mixing until everything is well combined (easiest to use your hands). It will be quite a wet/clumpy mixture, but get it as close to a breadcrumb-like consistency as possible.
  3. Chop the apple into bite size chunks and put them at the bottom of a medium-large baking dish. Add the blackberries, orange juice and zest, spices and syrup and make sure all is well mixed.
  4. Evenly cover the fruit with the topping mixture. Bake for 20-30 minutes, or until the fruit is cooked and the topping is golden but not burnt. Great served with full fat Greek yogurt or coconut cream for a healthy take, or custard or vanilla  ice cream for something more traditional.

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