Cape gooseberry and apple crumble

Cape gooseberry and apple crumble

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About this recipe: Cape gooseberries, also known as physalis or Chinese lanterns, add a pleasing sharpness to apple crumble, while the fruit juice and dried blueberries bring natural sweetness. Rolled oats and chopped nuts give an appealing crunch to the crumble topping, which is made with less sugar than most recipes suggest.

Norma MacMillan

Ingredients
Serves: 6 

  • Filling
  • 1 kg (2¼ lb) dessert apples, such as Cox's or Braeburns
  • 4 tbsp dried blueberries
  • 4 tbsp orange juice
  • 100 g (3½ oz) cape gooseberries, papery skins discarded
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • Crumble topping
  • 125 g (4½ oz) plain flour
  • 100 g (3½ oz) unsalted butter, diced
  • 55 g (2 oz) caster sugar
  • 50 g (1¾ oz) rolled oats
  • 50 g (1¾ oz) hazelnuts or walnuts, chopped
  • grated zest of 1 orange
  • To serve
  • custard

Method
Prep:35min  ›  Cook:25min  ›  Ready in:1hr 

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F, gas mark 6).
  2. Peel the apples, cut them into thick wedges and remove the core. Place them in a saucepan with the blueberries and orange juice. Cover the pan and cook over a low heat for 10 minutes or until the apples start to soften and release their juices.
  3. Add the whole cape gooseberries and sugar to the apples and stir. Transfer the fruit filling to a 1.5 litre (2 3/4 pint) deep baking dish.
  4. In a mixing bowl, rub the flour and butter together until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Stir in the sugar, oats, hazelnuts or walnuts, and orange zest, then mix in about 1 tbsp water to give a very rough, crumbly mixture. Spread the crumble topping gently and evenly over the fruit. Do not press down.
  5. Bake for 20–25 minutes or until the topping is golden brown and the fruit juice is bubbling up round the edges. Serve hot, with custard.

Some more ideas

Replace the cape gooseberries with 100 g (3½ oz) of chopped rhubarb. If liked, add a handful of strawberries too. * 2 tbsp desiccated coconut can be mixed into the crumble topping. * Use other dried fruits instead of blueberries – cranberries, raisins, sultanas and currants are all just as good.

Plus points

Oats are an excellent source of soluble fibre which helps to slow the absorption of carbohydrate (particularly glucose) into the bloodstream, resulting in a gentler rise and fall in blood sugar levels. * Cape gooseberries contain beta-carotene and vitamin C as well as potassium.

Each serving provides

E * A, B1, B6, C

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