WHOOPEE it’s the time of year when I get to drink copious amounts of red wine and do nothing all Sunday evening because it’s dark by the time lunch has finished!
Yes, that’s right, it is proper cosy Sunday lunch season when one can have friends round in the afternoon and sit for hours over a two or three course lunch and have nowhere to rush off to afterwards.
This time of year, we generally end up having a lazy start to the day, do a bit of lunch prep in PJs, try to get a walk or bike ride in, shower and be laying the table as our guests arrive pretending there wasn’t a last minute rush around tidying the house. Why do we all insist on cleaning and hiding any visible items on a table or shelf into a drawer to then spend the next few weeks wondering where we put things when our friends come round? It is the strangest illusion we all insist on giving – clean house living.
Enough of that, now to the food part. Here I am thinking what can I give people for pudding that will be deeply satisfying and comforting yet also be light on the sugar front. I decided to tackle apple crumble and use normal eating apples which are naturally sweeter than cooking apples and use dates as my natural sweetness. Also, why add extra sugar in the crumble topping when the apple goodness should be sweet enough as it is?
This can also be gluten free by swapping the wholegrain flour with ground almonds.
Ingredients: (Serves 4-6 depending on how greedy you are feeling)
100 g wholemeal flour
80 g oats
50 g butter
1 tbsp cinnamon
4 large apples
2 tbsp lemon
1 tbsp date syrup
Start with your fruit mix, finely chop your dates and place into a non stick saucepan with 2 tbsp water and gently heat till mixture is combined and sticky then add in date syrup. (You can blend this so it is a smoother puree but up to you)
Peel, core and chop up apples into even chunks and place into sauce pan with 2 tbsp water, lemon juice and place on the lid and cook on a low heat for about 10 minutes until the apple starts to soften a little. Stir occasionally and make sure it doesn’t break down too much.
Mix in the date mixture and pour into a dish that will go in the oven. Then make your crumble topping. Add cold chunks of butter and flour into a food processor and pulse till it looks like fine breadcrumbs. Stir in the oats and cinnamon then top the apple and date mix.
Place into an oven at 180C for 10 – 15 minutes till you can see the apple bubbling. Serve with a large dollop of fat free Greek yogurt and a drizzle of maple syrup if your guests have a very sweet tooth. Doesn’t need it, but when is maple syrup a bad addition?!