And the crumble-binge continues. This is my last one this autumn, I promise. And why not go out with a bang? This toffee apple crumble is the absolute best dessert to come home to after watching the Bonfire Night fireworks.
This recipe almost reads like a typical apple crumble, but with the key addition of some creamy toffee sauce. And dates. Because dates are the toffee of the fruit world. Don’t like dates? Leave them out if you must, but I guarantee that you will love how the little date pieces transform into chewy toffee chunks after 45 minutes in the oven.
Toffee apples are up there with brown leaves and pumpkin spice in the leader-board of autumnal things, so you can imagine how excited I am to share this recipe with you today. With only a week until the Christmas season starts to kick in (yes, once November 5th is out of the way I am all about the festivity) I am going to be stepping up the fall bakes until you are clawing the Bramley apples from my knitted-gloved hand.
There is no cinnamon in this crumble *gasp*, but I’ve swapped out the normal crumble flavours for some creamy toffee sauce. But because it isn’t actual toffee, it’s not hard to make at all. No sugar thermometer and no potential disasters here. You just need a saucepan filled with butter, cream, and lots of brown sugar, which is melted down to create the toffee taste. There is no substitute for dark brown sugar here – caster sugar just won’t cut it.
The crisp crumble topping is adapted from the Cherry Blueberry Crumble I shared with you a few weeks ago. I’ve left out the toasted almonds here because that’s definitely more of a cherry thing. But the topping will still be nice and crispy after 45 minutes in the oven, I promise. Feel free to sprinkle some nuts on the top if you like – I feel like hazelnuts might work really well with this one.
You don’t have to cook the apples beforehand, just peel, chop, and throw them in the crumble dish. I’ve used Bramley apples, because they are the ultimate crumble champion. You definitely do not want to use a sweet apple – make sure it has a lot of sharpness to it or you will end up in a sugar coma.
Once you’ve whipped up the toffee sauce, pour evenly over the chopped apples and give it a little toss together with your wooden spoon to make sure everything’s coated. I like to make my crumble topping by rubbing the flour and butter together by hand – somehow it just feels a little bit more of an achievement when you get it out of the oven. But a food processor works wonders here too.
I’ve served mine with double cream, but the absolute dream combination is warm toffee apple crumble and cold vanilla ice cream. I almost ran out to the shop and bought some.
I’ve been hard at work this week finalising my plans for Christmas here on What Charlotte Baked – if everything goes to plan (when does it ever though?) then there should be some perfect little seasonal bakes heading your way in the next few weeks or so. Plus – I’m going to share an updated version of my Grandma’s Christmas cake recipe with you all. It’s going to be so good that even Katie is going to love it!
- 4 large Bramley apples
- 180ml (¾ cup) double or heavy cream
- 110g (½ cup) unsalted butter
- 100g (½ cup) dark brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 100g (½ cup) soft dates, pitted and chopped in half
- 100g (¾ cups) plain or all-purpose flour
- 75g (¼ cup + 1 tablespoon) unsalted butter, chilled
- 75g (1 cup) jumbo rolled oats
- 100g (½ cup) dark brown sugar
- Preheat the oven to 180°C / 350°F (160°C fan). Peel, chop, and quarter the apples, and the chop each quarter into 6 or 8 pieces. Place the apples in a crumble dish (mine is about 30cm x 20cm) and set aside. Don't worry if they start turning a little brown.
- Pour the double cream into a medium saucepan, and add 110g of unsalted butter (chopped into pieces), 100g of sugar, and the salt. Heat on medium, stirring frequently, until the butter has melted and the sauce has thickened slightly. Once the sauce starts to bubble just a little, remove from the heat and stir in the dates. Pour the sauce over the chopped apples, and toss it together to make sure the apples are properly coated and you have a good distribution of dates. Set aside.
- To make the crumble topping, mix the flour and 75g of butter together in a medium sized bowl, until the lumps of butter are very small. You can use your hands to rub the butter into the flour, or use a food processor or electric whisk. Add the oats and 100g of sugar to the bowl, and mix well using a spoon or spatula. Spoon the crumble topping over the caramel apple filling, making sure there is an even layer all over. Press down gently with your hands to create a nice flat top.
- Place the crumble in the preheated oven for 40-45 minutes, or until the crumble topping is golden brown. Serve warm with plenty of vanilla ice cream.
- The crumble can be prepared ahead of time and kept in the fridge for a few hours before baking. Once baked, it is best eaten on the day. If necessary, any leftover crumble can be stored in the fridge and then reheated in the oven or microwave.