Last Sunday in the sunshine was the moment for picking the heritage Charles Ross apples in our garden in Cardiff. We know that this tree predates our house built in 1893, because the builders chose an orchard for the site of our street. Charles Ross apples are large and red, streaked with orange and green, weighing about 3 to a kilo. Whilst we were photographing them Sam remarked that ‘an apple is like an actress’s face: when the sun is behind a cloud it is soft and curvaceous, but when the sun comes out it reveals all sorts’. But these comely apples were turning my mind to tarts, the simple but delicious baked apple and crumbles.
Apple makes the ultimate autumn crumble, to which you could add some blackberries if they are still to be found. The French have a wondrous machine which peels, cores and slices apples in a trice.
125g ground almonds
125g potato flour
125g unsalted butter, softened, a further 30g for dotting, chopped plus extra for greasing
grated zest and juice of ½ lemon
60g flaked almonds
Preheat the oven to 170°C. Butter a 26cm ovenproof dish.
To make the crumble, combine the ground almonds, potato flour, honey and butter in a food processor.
Peel, core and slice the apples. Place in the ovenproof dish and immediately pour over the lemon juice and zest – to prevent them from miscolouring – and dot with butter. If the fruit is unripe, you could trickle over a little honey. Cover the fruit with the crumble and scatter the flaked almonds over the top.
Bake until the top is nicely coloured, about 30 minutes.