I love this time of year. Once I've finished pining for summer, early Autumn brings so much with it. From cosy evenings and pumpkin pies, to crisp sunny walks and hot drinks. But best of all these gifts (in my opinion) are blackberries. Depending on where you live, you might find blackberries growing in late summer or early Autumn. Here in Western Canada, we get them from about mid-August to late September - perfect for lots of picking!
I grew up eating blackberry and apple pies made by my parents, so for me blackberry recipes are nostalgic and evoke a sense of home. This Apple & Blackberry Crumble is a recipe that reminds me of my childhood and of Autumns spent picking apples in our garden (at the time it was my most loathed chore, but I'd happily do it now!). It's a simple but delicious-tasting dessert, and one that you can easily make on a lazy Sunday afternoon. So get cosy, put your slippers on and spend an hour or two baking yourself something nourishing and sweet. You might be surprised by how much you enjoy making it!
A Note on Ingredients - Apple & Blackberry Crumble
If you're wondering where to find blackberries - forage them! They spring up everywhere at this time of year (particularly in sunny spots like beside railway lines or alleyways) and are easy to identify as they don't look like anything else currently growing. You can of course buy them in stores, but they taste SO much better when picked wild. They're also a completely free, nutritious source of food when found this way, which makes this recipe cost-effective!
Another great way to keep the cost of this Apple & Blackberry Crumble down is by substituting the ground almonds for a cheaper nut or seed. For a really cost-effective option, sunflower seeds would be my pick. They aren't as sweet and flavourful as almonds, but they don't have a strong taste, are nutrient-dense and cost very little. You're welcome to substitute any nut or seed you prefer, just be aware that any you use will change the flavour of the crumble subtly.
Finally, I love serving this crumble with dairy-free ice cream, coconut whip or yoghurt. I particularly like using coconut yoghurt, as I find it has a subtle flavour but is still creamy. My favourite brands are Yoso and Coyo, if you're looking for some inspiration! You can also find my recipe for making your own coconut whip here.
Apple & Blackberry Crumble (vegan & gluten-free)
- 3 cups blackberries (fresh or frozen)
- 6 tart, juicy medium-sized apples (about 7 cups), peeled and chopped into rough 1-inch cubes
- 2 tbsp maple syrup or coconut nectar
- Small pinch each of cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg
- ¾ cup ground almonds
- 1 cup rolled oats
- 2 tbsp coconut sugar
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- ¼ tsp cloves
- ¼ cup coconut oil
- Preheat your oven to 150°C/300°F.
To make the filling
- In a saucepan with a lid, gently heat the blackberries on a medium-low heat - stirring frequently - until they are broken down (about 15 minutes - if using frozen berries, they may need a little longer).
- Remove from the heat and strain the blackberry mixture through a sieve (with a small enough mesh that that the seeds are removed from the mixture) into a bowl.
- Spend a few minutes pressing the mixture gently through the sieve with a wooden spoon to ensure all the juice gets through. Set this juice aside. Discard the thick, seedy pulp that's left.
- Heat the apples in a large saucepan with a lid on - on a medium-low heat - adding 1-2 tbsp of water to avoid sticking. Stir frequently, until the apples have softened and disintegrate when touched with a spoon (about 25-30 minutes).
- Remove from the heat and stir in the blackberry mixture along with the maple syrup and spices. Set aside.
To make the crumble
- Mix the ground almonds, oats, coconut sugar and spices with a spoon in a large bowl until all ingredients are combined.
- Rub the coconut oil into the mixture with your hands until it resembles a breadcrumb-like texture.
- Spoon the filling into a large oven-proof baking dish, and sprinkle the crumble mixture on top, completely covering the filling.
- Bake for about 20 minutes in the oven, until the top is lightly browned.
- Serve immediately with dairy-free ice cream, yoghurt or coconut whip. Enjoy!