Blueberry and apple crumble

When my sister-in-law died just over three years ago we inherited a blueberry bush, which, in my part of Australia, is not a common thing. It has the most beautiful blossoms and the fruit changes from a pale watery green with a pinkish blush to deep blue when the fruit is ripe. Each year there has been more fruit, and we are convinced this summer we’ll harvest at least a punnet! It has made me appreciate the time, effort and cost involved in growing them, and not to be too churlish about the price we pay at the fruit shop. It is mostly a special occasion fruit at our place, but this week there was a glut, and I went to town making a gorgeous apple and blueberry crumble with fresh berries, rather than my usual frozen. This is a great basic recipe that would work with any berries, and because I use pie apples, it can be prepared and baked and on the table in about 45 minutes – a winner when something sweet is craved for after dinner on a cool night. It’s really good with cream or ice cream, but I also like it with a spoonful of Greek yoghurt as a lower fat alternative.

Serves 4 – 6

85 g soft brown sugar
50 g shredded coconut
125 g butter, cut into small cubes
150 g self raising flour
440 g tin unsweetened pie apples
250 g fresh or frozen blueberries
1/2 teaspoon vanilla paste
cream, or vanilla ice cream, to serve

Preheat oven to 180 C. Spread apples evenly across the base of In a 23 cm (9 inch) shallow pie dish. Tumble over the blueberries and drizzle over the vanilla. Combine the sugar, coconut, butter and flour in the bowl of a food processor and process until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Alternatively, place the ingredients in a medium sized bowl and rub the butter into the dry ingredients with the tips of your fingers, until you get the same result. That’s how our grandmothers did it in the days before electrical appliances, and some say this method gives a better textural result. But I’m time poor so the food processor it is for me. Spread the crumble over the apple and berries and even out with your fingers, being careful not to compress. Bake for 30 minutes in the oven. Serve hot or warm with cream or ice cream.