End of summer is our private thanksgiving: time to celebrate the anniversary of our relocation to the country and to count our blessings. We always recall memories of the chaos of moving house with all misplaced kitchen utilities and an empty larder.  A simple apple and blackberry crumble made with fruit gathered in the surrounding bushes, tasted so divinely delicious and so rewarding after shuffling boxes and unpacking.

We have inherited two apple trees, that last year produced an enormous crop of tiny fruit of no use in the kitchen. We decided to give our trees a proper haircut in January and entered the spring with no hope of any decent harvest this year. Yet mother nature rewarded our mid-winter efforts with branches are just heavy with beautiful apples. Easy to forget all those frost bitten tips of fingers when ripe fruits just smile at you….

As for brambles, they are perceived as a pest invading our garden with no invitation. Most of the time I would be fighting with the thorny branches armed with a pair of secateurs. End of summer is the only time when a full pardon is granted as for a short period of time blackberries are actually useful.



For Crumble:

  • 180g white plain flour
  • 75g butter (cold & diced)
  • 20g lard
  • 1 yolk
  • 1tbsp double cream
  • 2tbsp sugar


For Filling:

  • 450g apples, peeled, cored and chopped
  • 350g blackberries, washed and pat dried
  • 100g sugar
  • knob of butter
  • pinch or two of cinnamon and nutmeg



Sieve flour into a bowl, add diced butter and lard and work in into the flour with the tips of your fingers. Add yolk, cream and sugar and incorporate into the mix. Do not overwork!

Leave in the fridge for a couple of hours.

In the meantime melt butter in the pan and place your apples. Cook until the apples start to break down. This will take anything between 2-5 min depending of the variety you use.  Then add sugar, spices and blackberries. From that point it will take only a minute for blackberries to start disintegrating. Remove from heat and cool down on the side.

Preheat oven to 180 deg.  Place your cooled fruit on the bottom of the pie tin. Cover with crumble topping and lightly sprinkle with sugar.

Bake for 30 min or until golden brown.

Serve warm with custard, vanilla ice cream or crème fraiche (or all tree)