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Apple Crumble
September 2014
Reading time 5 minutes
How to make the perfect apple crumble cake
  • 2 eggs, at room temperature
  • 180g caster sugar
  • 220ml vegetable oil
  • 200g plain flour
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp grated nutmeg
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
  • 300g peeled, cored Bramley apples (roughly 3 apples), cut into 1cm cubes
  • 1/2 quantity crumble topping
  • Crumble topping
  • 150g plain flour
  • 100g salted butter, chilled and diced
  • 50g caster sugar
  • Makes 300g

Butter two loaf tins about 19cm x 8cm, or one large loaf tin measuring 24cm x 10cm, then line with baking paper. Preheat the oven to 200°C/gas mark 6. Sift together the flour, salt, spices and bicarbonate of soda and set aside. 

In a stand mixer fitted with the beater, beat the eggs on a low speed, then gradually add the sugar, beating all the time. Once all the sugar has been added, pour in the oil in a slow, constant stream and beat until you have a very thick, pale mixture – you’re creating an emulsion. Stop the mixer, add the flour mixture all in one go, and mix again very briefly until just combined. Add the apples and fold them in with a large metal spoon until the fruit is stirred right through. Spoon it into the cake tin or tins, smooth the top, then sprinkle the tops with crumble (see recipe below). Place in the oven and immediately reduce the temperature to 170°C/gas mark 3. Bake the cakes for 40–45 minutes (for two small cakes) or 1 hour–1 hour 10 minutes for a large cake. They are ready when risen, springy and when a skewer inserted into the centre(s) comes out clean. Leave in the tin until completely cool. 

This cake is so moist that it will keep for 3–4 days without trouble. Store it on a wooden board, loosely covered with a cloth, rather than in an airtight container.

Crumble topping
Put the flour and butter in a bowl and use your fingertips to rub the butter into the flour (you also can do this using a mixer fitted with the beater attachment) until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add the sugar and continue until you’re left with large crumbles – distinct nuggets of buttery dough should form. Don’t be afraid to really go for it and work the dough, pressing and rubbing it together between your fingertips.

Spread the crumble out on a plate or baking sheet lined with baking paper and chill for at least an hour in the fridge, or overnight. Don’t cover – the cold air in the fridge will help to dry it out and make it even crumblier. It will keep for 3–4 days.

Gail’s Artisan Bakery by Roy Levy with Gail Mejia, photography Haarala Hamilton £20 Ebury Press

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