I’m used to the idea of foraging for autumn berries, foraging for orchard fruits is a new one to me! A recent trip on the local canal saw my Dad and I picking pears that were overhanging the water; small, crisp and slightly tart, these were an unexpected bonus to a pleasant day out.
When a neighbour gave me a bagful of very sweet windfall apples I felt I had the perfect combination for an autumnal crumble. I used my smallest diameter casserole dish, which is 6.5 inches, for an 8 inch casserole dish increase the quantities by 50%.
For the topping:
- 2 ounces ground almonds
- 2 ounces plain flour (white or wholemeal)
- 2 ounces granulated sugar
- 3 ounces butter (or dairy free spread suitable for baking), cut into small cubes
- 1 tablespoon flaked almonds
For the filling
- 3 eating apples
- 6 small, firm pears
- 3 tablespoons orange juice
- 3 star anise
Preheat oven to 160ºC fan or 180ºC conventional.
Make the topping by all the ingredients except the flaked almonds together between your fingers until you achieve your preferred crumble consistency. Set aside.
Core the fruit and chop into roughly ½ inch cubes.
Toss the fruit in the orange juice in your casserole dish.
Add the star anise, evenly spaced.
Cover the fruit with the crumble topping and sprinkle flaked almonds over the top.
Bake for approx’ 1 hour.