Perfect with cream, custard, or ice cream, here’s a hearty autumnal/winter warmer dessert! Now is the perfect time of year for berries that you can pick yourself. This is a classic combination – but no reason any berries or pears couldn’t be used instead.

(From experience!) I’d recommend cooking it before dinner, then letting it cool to sub-molten lava temps while you eat your meal! It is very nice served cool too – almost like a fruity flapjack.

Ingredients:

Topping:

  • 180g flour
  • 60g oats
  • 120g butter
  • 120g sugar

Filling:

  • 3 apples (about 320g once prepped)
  • 160g blackberries
    (~480g of fruit in total)
  • 30g butter
  • 30-60g sugar (depending in how tart/sweet your apples and berries are!)
  • 1 tbs water
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract.
  • 1-2 tsp cornflour

Method:

  1. Set the oven to 180C/360F.
  2. Peel, core and roughly chop the apples (I let them sit in water with a drop of lemon to stop them discolouring while getting everything done). Wash the berries.
  3. In a pan, add the butter and half the sugar (add the rest later if it is too tart), once melted add the water, fruit, and vanilla, and allow to gently simmer while you get the topping ready.
  4. Blitz the flour sugar and butter together in a food processor (or rub as lightly as possible (fingertips only!) by hand) until just combined. It’ll be a bit heavier than the normal breadcrumbs used for a crumble. Then by hand, lightly mix in the oats – do not use the food processor for this bit.
  5. Taste the fruit mixture, and add more sugar if necessary. Mix a generous tsp. of cornflour (cornstarch) with a drop of water until it makes a smooth paste, take the fruit of the heat and stir in. It should make the juices a little thicker.
  6. Pour the fruit mixture into a suitable ceramic/pyrex type dish, then crumble (one handful at a time) distribute the topping on top.
  7. Bake for ~35 minutes until starting to colour – a light golden hue – on top.