Apple Blueberry Crumble


It's common knowledge that when fruit is in abundance, I make dessert. It's also common knowledge that I love using spices in my baked goods. So it should be no surprise to you that this recipe contains both, along with a crunchy topping too.

Crumbles, or crisps as they call them in the west, are the easiest way to use up a lot of fruit. Due to the simplicity of the recipe, crumbles can easily be adapted to suit your dietary requirements. I like to keep mine plant based, so I often use coconut oil, margarine and maple syrup instead of butter or sugar. There is very little difference in the overall taste though, so no matter what you choose to go with, you won't be missing out.

I've made this recipe several times over. I usually stick to using 6 apples, but this time I reduced the amount of apples and added some blueberries instead.  You can stick with all apples, or use any other berry of choice. Blueberries are in season now, so it's a good time to use them if you like them! You can use frozen if you have them on hand. No need to defrost them either!

The best part of this recipe is that it's really simple to make. It's one of those, dare I say, dump-and-go recipes. The hardest part of the recipe is actually peeling and chopping all the apples. If you've got kids, or a loving partner, now's the time to get them in the kitchen to help with all that peeling and chopping!

Apple Blueberry Crumble
Serves 8
4 medium apples, cored, peeled and sliced (I use pacific rose)
2 cups blueberries (use any fresh or frozen berry of choice, or two more apples instead of the berries)
1 tbsp butter, melted (use margarine, or coconut oil if vegan)
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp allspice
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp cloves
1/4 cup maple syrup (substitute with caster sugar if need be)
Juice of half a lemon

1 cup standard flour (use almond flour, or GF flour for Gluten Free option)
1/3 cup caster sugar
2/3 cup shredded coconut
2/3 cup sliced almonds (save some to sprinkle on top)
2/3 cup chopped walnuts
120g butter, melted (use margarine, or coconut oil if vegan)

Preheat oven to 180ºC. First we make the crumble. In a medium bowl place your flour, sugar, coconut, almonds and walnuts in a bowl. Pour over the melted butter and rub the mixture with your fingertips until it resembles course breadcrumbs. Set Aside.

In a large bowl, place all your filling ingredients. Give it a good toss so that it's all coated evenly. Pour it into a 2L capacity baking dish. Crumble over the topping and place in preheated oven for 25-30minutes. The topping should be golden brown when it's done.
Serve warm with vanilla ice cream, custard or even coconut yoghurt.



Orange Cardamom Cake with Yoghurt Frosting

A good friend of ours has an orange tree in their back yard that is currently laden with fruit. Enter free oranges!
When you have a baking obsession and you have an abundance of something it's pretty much a no brainer that it's gonna end up in your dessert. Enter, this cake.

I've seen numerous recipes for citrus and almond cakes. Most of them are syrup cakes and use just the zest of the fruit for flavour. I've made a similar one before which uses semolina rather than almond meal which is lovely, but doesn't use up enough fruit to solve my orange problem.
I'd seen this mandarin cake recipe on Nadia's site a while ago but never got around to making it. After a bit more research I found several other recipes that use whole citrus in the cake. It was destined to happen from there.

This cake is unlike any cake I've made before. It uses the entire orange, skin, pith and all. This keeps the cake moist and gives it the ultimate citrus flavour. Of course I wasn't going to stop there. I added some vanilla and cardamom to spice things up, literally. Then to go even further with my madness I added some orange blossom water, coz why not?

Once the cake finally came out the oven I didn't drench it in syrup like most recipes call for. This cake is not sweet due to the orange pith giving it a slightly bitter taste. I don't have a problem with that, so the syrup was out for me. I still wanted something on top of the cake though. Cream cheese frosting would have worked for this cake but I wanted something lighter so I opted for greek yoghurt. I strained the greek yoghurt in a muslin cloth overnight. This basically removed most of the water content to give me a thicker yoghurt which was perfect for frosting. I then flavoured it with some freshly squeezed orange juice and honey to counter act the tartness and bitterness.

Choose sweet oranges for this cake. If you can't get any sweet ones, opt for mandarins, tangelos or clementines instead. They will all work for this recipe.

Orange Cardamom Cake with Yoghurt Frosting (Adapted from Nigella)
Serves 8-10
Orange Cake
3 small oranges, approx 375g in weight (mandarins, clementines or tangelos work too)
225g caster sugar
300g ground almonds
2 tsp cardamom powder
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp vanilla essence
1 pinch vanilla powder
6 eggs, beaten
2 tsp orange blossom water

Yoghurt Frosting
250g greek yoghurt, strained
1/3 cup orange juice
3 Tbs honey
pistachios/ pomegranate seeds/ orange zest/ honey to decorate

Don't peel, slice or chop your oranges. Place the whole oranges in a small saucepan and fill with water. Boil until soft. Depending on your fruit of choice this could take between 30-60 minutes. You want the fruit to be soft enough to puree.
Once soft, turn heat off, drain the water and allow fruit to cool. Then cut in half and remove seeds if there are any. Puree in a blender or food processor. Set aside.

In a large bowl place your sugar, almond meal, cardamom, baking powder and vanilla. Whisk to combine. Then add your orange puree and eggs. Mix until combined. Lastly add your orange blossom water and mix it in.
Pour batter into a greased spring form tin. Bake in preheated oven for 50-60 minutes. Check with toothpick or skewer to see if it's done. The skewer when inserted should come out clean. Allow cake to cool in tin.

To make frosting, place all frosting ingredients in a medium bowl and whisk until combined. Once cake has cooled, remove it form the tin and slather on the frosting. Decorate with pistachios, pomegranate seeds, orange zest and a drizzle of honey.

Store cake in the fridge so the yoghurt doesn't turn. Warm to room temperature before eating.