More apples, I'm afraid...
Weekends are about indulgence. Of course. But that means that weekdays have to be a bit more restrained, to prevent constantly having to buy bigger frocks.
So, despite the fact that cooking apples are pretty much designed to go with sugar and butter, I've been trying out recipes that manage without them.
Two crumbles, one made the usual way and one that was sugar-free.
This was the tradition chap, apple and blackberry with a sugar/butter/flour crumble topping. He definitely needed sugar as both the apples and the blackberries were rather sharp.
And here's the sugar-free one. This was apple and plum, with a muesli topping. The plums were very ripe so added the much-needed natural sweetness to the apples and the muesli contained dried fruit so that bumped up the sweetness there, too. To try and make the muesli topping a similar texture to a butter and flour version, I soaked half of it in milk for a while before layering it onto the fruit, and then scattered some more over the top to crunch up.
No real recipes for either of these, as I find that crumble quantities really depend on what you're making your crumble in. My usual method is to chop fruit and throw it in the crumble-receptacle until it's full (bearing in mind it'll squash down a bit when cooked). Cook the fruit in a pan with a bit of water (if needed, depends how 'wet' your fruit is) and add sugar to taste. Then pop butter and flour into a bowl (you need slightly more flour than butter but, again, how much depends how big your crumble is and how deep you want the topping!) and rub together 'til it's breadcrumby and fork through a few spoonfuls of sugar before scattering over the fruit.
Um, that was rubbish. Here's a proper recipe.
I've also made more Dorset Apple Cake. Following an interesting theory, based on the fact that apple sauce often replaces butter in vegan cooking, I tried one with some of the apple sauce I'd made earlier.
Success! Still needed the original amount of sugar, so I wouldn't say this was healthy, but no fat and added apples definitely count in its favour. It was a bit heavier than the original, possibly more of a pudding you'd serve with custard than a light sponge, and needed longer in the oven to cook through. But it used up half my jar of apple sauce and must count as one of your five a day now!
Only about five apples left now...