From Orchard to Table; My Favourite Crumble

The first thing I ever made my boyfriend was apple crumble. He LOVES it. I think I’m pretty sure that if he had to choose between me or apple crumble, he’d pick apple crumble. Truth. Apple is his favourite, but he’ll accept apple and pear, apple and blackberry or rhubarb at a push. Me, on the other hand, well I’d choose any other dessert before a fruit crumble, usually something creamy and chocolatey like tiramisu, ooh, or maybe something really lemony like tarte au citron, yummm! It’s not so much that I dislike it, I just much prefer other things when given the choice, hence why I don’t make it as often as he’d like.

When Holly of Avenue Lifestyle and Anouschka Rokebrand asked me to collaborate on an Orchard to Table shoot and create a dessert using the freshly plucked apples and pears from De Olmenhorst, it had to be crumble. In an attempt to make a version I’d enjoy eating as much as he does (if that is even possible), and something slightly different, this is what I came up with. But first the orchard and the gorgeous Lisa (our model).

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Fresh from the orchard, I got busy baking whilst Holly did what she does best styling and making my kitchen and the table setting look absolutely gorgeous whilst Anouschka worked her magic capturing everything so beautifully.

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This crumble is light and fresh tasting, not heavily spiced with cinnamon, with a unique twist which makes it really special. I favour a traditional crumble topping of flour, brown sugar and butter, so as to show off the filling, if you prefer it crunchier you could easily add some oats, muesli or nuts.

Apple and Pear Crumble with Orange and Rosemary

Serves 6-8

For the filling

Juice and zest of half an orange

3 large elstar apples, peeled and diced into 2cm cubes

2 large pears, peeled and diced into 2cm cubes

50g salted butter

1 tbsp salted caramel or dulche de leche

50g soft light brown sugar

1/2 tsp cinnamon

Large sprig of rosemary

For the crumble

200g plain flour

150g salted butter, diced into 1cm cubes

100g soft light brown sugar

2 tsp finely chopped rosemary

50g dark chocolate chips/drops

Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Starting with the filling, add all of the ingredients into a wide pan and place on a medium heat for about 5 minutes. Stir occasionally until the sugar has dissolved and the butter has melted. Remove the sprig of rosemary, tip the mixture into an ovenproof pie dish (approx 7”x10”) and set aside.

To make the crumble, place the flour, sugar and butter in a large bowl and rub the butter into the flour and sugar until it looks like crumbs and the butter is evenly distributed throughout. Stir in the finely chopped rosemary. Spoon half of the crumble mixture over the apples and pears. Sprinkle the chocolate drops evenly over the crumble and then cover with the remaining half of the crumble mixture.

Bake in the oven for 35-40 minutes until bubbling and golden on top. Serve with freshly whipped cream.

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Myself, Anouschka, Lisa and Holly (as seen here and here), have all been converted, but we probably don’t count! Would love for you to try it and let me know what you think. Perfect winter weekend comfort food x


For more on this shoot you can have a look at Holly’s post here and Anouschka’s post, including beautiful film images, here.

CREDITS | Styling and Concept: Holly Marder (Avenue Lifestyle) | Photography: Anouschka Rokebrand | Recipe and Food Styling: Ajda Mehmet | Model: Lisa Groothuijzen | Location: De Olmenhorst | Table Linen and Tea Towel: Dille & Kamille | Cream Plate: Hélène Millott Furnishings

Pick Your Own

Food is like magic, it has this way of transporting you back in time. Back to when you first encountered ‘that’ smell or taste, where you were and who you were with. Two of my earliest memories are food related, the first when I was three.

My mum and dad used to own a grocery store in Nunhead (South East London) and we used to live above it. Since I was able to walk, if the shop was busy or dad was at the market mum would have to serve the customers and I would play in the shop in amongst all the fruit and veg. Always curious and not a fussy child I used to eat everything I could get my hands on (this hasn’t changed). Partly because I was surrounded by it and partly my parents influence and their Turkish Cypriot roots, for which today I am very grateful. I adored fresh figs, the green ones, chewing on artichoke leaves and peeling juicy medlars, they were my favourite. I also loved prickly pears. Too young to understand what the name meant, I only ever saw them peeled and used to devour them along with everything else I was given, until this one day my small, curious, three year old hand decided to pick one up, skin on. I soon found out where the name prickly pear came from and mum assures me I screamed the place down whilst being sat on my dad’s knee as he plucked out the cactus prickles with tweezers, ouch! 

The second early memory I have is going fruit picking with my family, aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents. A weekly tradition in the warmer months, we’d pack a barbecue and a picnic and then cook and eat whatever it was we had just picked, straight from farm to table. For anyone not familiar with a ‘pick your own’ farm, basically you go along for free and pick whatever they have, all organic and seasonal and then you pay for what you’ve picked on the way out. Beats the supermarket any day of the week.

As kids we’d slowly make our way along the rows and rows of fruit, baskets dragging along the ground because they were almost bigger than us, filling them with the biggest and best strawberries, raspberries, plums we could find, comparing along the way to see who had picked the biggest one. 

Last weekend I was home for a few days so dad and I got to take my grandad and we brought my nephew along for his first time. I can’t explain in words how surreal it was to be back there as an adult, watching my grandad smiling at the size of the runner beans, scouring the plants and leaning right in to pick the biggest ones from the back. Laughing my nephew pulling faces tasting a sour, unripe plum, watching him get lost in a corn field twice the size of him and then eating a raw corn on the cob straight out of the husk, so juicy it tastes like it has been cooked. My dad was in his element. It brought back so many memories from my childhood and made me realise how lucky we were growing up as kids to have this appreciation of where our food came from, to understand what it looked and tasted like growing, whole and raw and also where my love of food has come from, the start of my food journey. IMG_2983 IMG_2969IMG_2987IMG_2992IMG_2996IMG_2997IMG_2998