This recipe is me trying to heave myself out of another breakfast rut. Our vege boxes come with a lot of apples at this time of year, some of them mealy, and I just knew that there was a breakfast crumble out there for them. I trawled my cookbooks but came up short. Isa, Heidi and Deb had muffins and waffles and eggs 'til Tuesday, but nothing that'd get apples into my workday breakfast.
Once I hit google it turned out that Deb Perelman did actually have exactly what I needed, an oaty apple crisp especially designed for breakfast. I threw in a couple of pears with the apples, swapped honey for barley malt syrup and slivered almonds for raw cashews. It's not too distant from my ol' fruit crumble manifesto, though it taught me a couple of important tricks. First, you can melt the butter instead of blending it cold into the crumble. Second, it's worth baking apples well beyond my habitual 20 minutes to bring them to that collapsing, apple pie stage.
These aren't startlingly innovative tricks, but I appreciated them just the same. I've been enjoying my buttery collapsed apples for days with a couple heaping spoonfuls of yoghurt and even plotting future batches. Different flour! Skip the sugar! Other fruit and nuts! And what about vegetable oil, eliminating the need for melting entirely? But always lots of oats, lots of baking and a smidge of cornflour.
Apple breakfast crisp
(slightly adapted from a recipe on smitten kitchen)
200g mixed fruit (I had 5 apples and 2 pears)
2 tablespoons lemon juice
3 tablespoons caster sugar
2 tablespoons cornflour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch of salt
1/4 cup barley malt syrup
1/2 cup flour
2 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup raw cashews, roughly chopped
1/2 cup shredded coconut
Preheat an oven to 180°C.
Peel the fruit, remove any cores and chop the flesh into bite-size pieces, placing the fruit in a medium-large baking dish. Stir through the lemon juice as you go to prevent the fruit from browning. Sprinkle over the caster sugar, cornflour, cinnamon and salt, and stir it through to evenly coat the fruit pieces.
In a medium-large saucepan set over low-medium heat, melt the butter and the barley malt syrup together. Turn of the heat, and stir in the flour, rolled oats, cashews and coconut. Pour this granola mix evenly over the apples in the baking tray. Bake it all for 45-55 minutes, until the apples are softened and bubbly. Keep an eye on it as it bakes, and cover the dish if the top gets too brown.