[ezcol_1third] I was standing in the kitchen on Monday staring at a huge bowl of fresh Stanthorpe apples and wondering what on earth to do with them all when the phone rang. It was my importer calling to say our cast iron skillets had finally arrived in Australia. I hung up, drove to the warehouse to collect my pans, and came straight home again to start on my skillet apple crumble.
Some people will tell you that crumble is pie's poor, lazy cousin but there's no need to buy into that. This dessert is just as deliciously buttery and satisfying as traditional apple pie but so much easier for the cook (and the one doing the washing up!) Skillet apple crumble is a forgiving dish - there's no need to chill butter, rest dough, roll out, or even dirty more than one pan. And on a chilly night like the ones we've been having this week in South East Queensland, there's nothing cosier than gathering around a bubbling skillet full of sweet soft apples and crunchy toasted crisp.
Skillet Apple Crumble Recipe
*measurements are approximate and fit a 9" skillet... this is a free-form recipe for cooks not chefs.
For the filling:
6-8 apples, peeled and thinly sliced 1/4 cup butter 1/2 tsp cinnamon 1/4 cup dark muscovado (or regular brown) sugar
For the crumble:
1 cup oats 2 tbs almond meal 1 tsp cinnamon pinch of salt 1/4 cup dark brown sugar 3 tbs butter
1. Heat the oven to 400F (200C).
2. In your skillet melt the butter, then add the sugar, the peeled and sliced apples, and the cinnamon. Let bubble away while you prepare the crumble.
2. In a bowl mix the oats, almond meal, cinnamon and brown sugar. And the cold butter chopped up into little cubes.
3. With you fingers, rub the butter into the dry oat mixture. You can do this in a food processor, but I don't like to bother with the extra washing up. If you have lumps of butter in your crumb mixture that's fine, you're looking for a roughly incorporated rubble here.
4. Pour the crumb over the apples in your skillet and pat it down over the apples. Pop the whole thing in the over for about 30 minutes until the topping is crisp and golden.