Apples have begun to appear in the market around the corner from me and the blackberries are no longer hard and tart but instead lusciously soft and oozing with juice. Leaves are beginning to fall, the days are getting shorter and the nights cooler- but, if you’re like me, somehow, you’re just not quite ready to let go of summer by making a blackberry and apple crumble. Even served with ice cream over custard, it rings tones too strongly of autumn and winter- and I’m trying to put off those thoughts for as long as possible. Heck, it’s still 80°F in NYC and I’ve always thought of a crumble as Sunday nights pudding after a long stomp in the chilly and often damp air. So, what’s a girl to do with all these lovely autumnal fruits- other than make pounds of jam and jelly?
I think this tart just about hits the spot in every conceivable right way. It’s delicacy and lightness reminds you that summer is not over and yet you know you’re ready for more than fruit and ice cream. I like to think that this is the time of year where dessert begins to drift towards pudding– warm, comforting, filling. It’s tart yet sweet, buttery- but not too rich, crispy and gooey. It’s perfect for an Indian summer evening.
So, stop giving into winter- just a little while longer.
Quick blackberry & apple tart
This recipe is based on one in Nigella Lawson’s Nigella Express, in which she uses blueberries and nectarines. I’ve also tried this with strawberries and blueberries- which is equally delicious. You could also make these into individual tarts.
Diet Facts: Vegetarian, but still dessert
1 sheet pre-rolled puff pastry (rolled roughly 30cm x 30cm or 12 x 12″)
3 tbsp double cream (or half & half, or single cream)
3 tbsp jam (apricot, blackberry or apple jelly will do)
1 punnet blackberries (abut 170g/6 oz fresh or frozen will do)
1 eating apple (something sweet and tart- honey crisp or cox would be perfect), cored and thinly sliced
1 tbsp flaked almonds
1 tbsp demarara sugar (or granulated sugar)
Greek yogurt or mascarpone cheese, to serve
1/ Heat the oven to 375F. Lay out the puff pastry on a baking tray and prick it all over with a fork, leaving a 2.5cm/ 1 inch border around the edge untouched.
2/ Mix together the cream and the jam and spread all over the puff pastry, except for the 2.5cm/ 1 inch border around the edge.
3/ Scatter over the apple slices and blackberries followed by the almonds. Sprinkle with the sugar.
4/ Bake in the oven for about 15 minutes, or until the pastry is golden and crispy around the sides. Serve topped with greek yogurt or mascarpone cheese.