It's school apple crumble.
Yeah, I know. Not regular apple crumble; not apple crumble made with love and care by my own dear mother and lavished upon me in the finest china while I recline on my velvet chaise longe, watching Doctor Who repeats in a careless manner (although this does happen all the time). Just regular, mass-produced, margarine-not-butter apple crumble, flung together by underpaid dinner ladies every second Thursday.
But god, that stuff is good.
'It's not that good,' my best friend tends to say when I lapse into incoherent lusty noises over lunch. 'It's only apple crumble.'
HA! Shows what she knows.
I know, I know. You're peering at these photos now, aren't you? Muttering to bewildered family members, 'apple crumble? That doesn't look like apple crumble' and possibly, 'is that not a plate?'. Some of you may even be poking your monitors mutinously; possibly the words, 'bar cookie' have passed your lips while you try to comprehend where I'm going with this ode to school apple crumble.
The thing is... I'm not here to give you the recipe for that apple crumble. I know. I'm sorry. I thought about it, and then I thought, 'but - how will food bloggers the world over POSSIBLY APPRECIATE the sheer genius of this pudding without a big enough build up?'. For all I know, you could go the same way as my treacherous best friend ('only apple crumble'? ONLY APPLE CRUMBLE; I ASK YOU).
No, the only solution was to raise the tension a bit. An advertising campaign, if you will. After a few weeks of me subliminally dropping apple crumble references into every post, you will be desperate to own this recipe for yourselves.
Alternatively, you will have stopped reading my blog. One of the two.
Which brings me to the recipe at hand. Now, this may be a build-up recipe, but don't go thinking that it's only a build-up recipe. This has its own kind of genius, namely: it is apple crumble THAT YOU CAN CARRY AROUND WITH YOU. Should you be strolling the streets one summer evening, and the urge for apple crumble seizes you, there is no longer any need to vault a nearby wall and break into the school kitchens! You can carry apple crumble IN YOUR POCKET.
The sheer genius of this idea makes me slightly weak at the knees.
Apple crumble bars
Original recipe (and American measurements) here
1/2 tsp salt
60g brown sugar
330g butter, softened
About 5 granny smith apples, skinned and diced (I halved this and used 2, cause we only had 2, but use 3 if you halve the recipe)
1 tsp cinnamon
1. Take the butter out of the fridge to soften (do not melt) on the counter as you peel and dice up the apples into small cubes. Squirt with some lemon juice and set aside.
2. Combine the flour, salt, white sugar and brown sugar in a bowl.
3. Cut the butter into the dry ingredients. The butter should not be melted; what we’re going for here are crumbs. You can either do this with a wooden spoon, or you can use your hands to crush it all together.
4. Take 1 cup of the crumb mixture and mix it with the apples. Add the cinnamon as well and set aside.
5. Preheat the oven to 180C and grease and flour a 9×13 baking pan. Take 1/2 of your remaining crumb mixture and press it into the bottom of the pan. Bake for 10 minutes.
6. Remove the crust from the oven, pour in the apple mixture and top with last of the crumbs. Put it back in the oven for another 45 minutes. When it’s done, the top should be a beautiful golden brown. Cool by putting the pan on a wire rack so air can circulate around it. Cut into bars after they’ve completely cooled, if you can resist it. It’s a great idea to refrigerate the bars so they set a bit more.