Friday, 9 October 2015

Crispy Or Crumbly?

Autumn is upon us, and friends-with-trees are generously sharing bags of apples with us, and it is time to make Proper Puddings [served with custard – or natural yogurt if I am feeling lazy healthy] But do you make Crumbles, Cobblers, Crisps, Buckles, or Brown Bettys? The Huffington Post had a useful article explaining the differences a few years back. Many people say that the Crisp is the US equivalent of the British Crumble – and that the former contains oats, the latter doesn’t. Personally I disagree, having always put oats in my crumble, but does it really matter if the end result tastes good?

Karen, from Rhode Island, who blogs at SewManyWays shared a recipe for her Apple Crisp recently. This is for a 13 x 9” pan. I used my two large pyrex casseroles and made one to eat, one to keep. I also used some of the blackberries we had picked when Adrian and Marion visited.

Apple mixture

10 cups of apples, peeled, cored and sliced [thats 3lbs worth]

1 cup white sugar

1 Tablespoon flour

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 cup water


1 cup porridge oats

1 cup plain flour

1 cup packed brown sugar

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon bicarb. of soda

1/2 cup butter (4 oz), melted

Preheat oven to 160ºC fan. Place apples in 13 x 9 pan [or 2 smaller ones] Mix other dry filling ingredients, sprinkle over. Pour over the water. Mix topping ingredients together, spread evenly over fruit mix. Bake at 160ºC for 45 minutes. Serve warm or cold.


The verdict; Bob said it was crisper than the crumbles I usually make, and had a pleasant biscuity taste to it. I think the proportion of oats to flour is higher in Karen's recipe. Thanks K for this one.


  1. We have been making Eve's pudding which is apples with a sponge topping (you'll have to ask Mum for the recipe!) and is lovely with custard!

  2. Like you, I always add oats to a crumble/crisp. I occasionally make Eve's pudding too which is simply a sponge cake recipe (I use 4 oz and 2 eggs) on top of apples. Very warming!

  3. I would have said the amount of sugar is too high, when I make a crumble I use half marg & sugar to flour.

    1. Do you think that in the USA, they use more sugar than we do here in the UK? Ina Garten and Martha Stewart both seem to put a lot into their cakes and desserts.

  4. Just been given some more Bramleys - so I think an Eve's Pudding will be next on the menu [thank you Elizabeth and Emma for the suggestion]

  5. Off scrumping tomorrow in Armagh...

  6. I do not care of it is crisp, crumbly or spongy, as long as it is. Custard, cream, yoghurt, creme fraiche or naked, all I need is a spoon.

  7. I've been on an apple butter tear...quarts, pints and half pints with another bushel and a half to finish. Exhausted doesn't begin to cover it! Maybe I'll make apple sauce today and yes, I do make pies, crumbles and the like...then I eat them all. I need to stop or I'll be bigger than Kansas!

  8. I,ve done it both ways and also Apple with sponge on top ..which we called Apple with vanilla ice cream ....heaven !

  9. My recipe is similar, though I only use about 1/2 cup of sugar. Apple crisp is one of my favorites!

  10. I love an oaty crumble, but don't measure. It is probably equal parts buttery spread and sugar. Then I gradually add porridge oats with a fork until it looks the right texture of crumble!
    I agree that American recipes are sweeter than our tastes.


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