Miss Haughton's Apple Crumble


This is my oldest recipe of all. It dates back to my High School cookery classes at Henry Harbin Girls Secondary Modern School, in Poole, Dorset, England. I've altered it slightly by the inclusion of berries though.

Boy do I have some memories of that cooking class and especially of the teacher, Miss Haughton. If ever there was a teacher to instill fear into a girl's heart then she was it. She terrified me and I didn't much like the things we cooked in her class either. Fancy teaching 13 year-olds how to make Soused Herrings or how to properly segment a grape fruit.

There was a girl I was quite friendly with at he time called Heather Collins and I think Miss Haughton despised Heather even more than she despised the rest of the class. Heather would certainly stir her up a bit though. I can clearly remember a pastry recipe we had to create and Heather was discovered trying to push her pastry through a sieve! I can't imagine why she was doing that!

I have more memories of those cooking lessons than of any other subject I studied at that school. I suppose poor Miss Haughton is long dead. She seemed old to me, even in those days. I'm looking back through my hand-written school recipe book now and I've just glanced at part of the lengthy instructions for boiling cabbage. It says "Boil steadily until crisply tender (not soggy) from 10 to 30 minutes". I can't imagine any cabbage being crisply tender after being boiled for 30 minutes, can you?

Apple Crumble recipe














Preparation time: 40 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
Quantity: Serves 4 - 5 (serves more if you have ice cream or custard with it)

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1 kg green cooking apples
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons sugar (optional)

Optional: 1 and 1/2 cups frozen or fresh berries

Crumble Topping
1 and 1/4 cups self raising flour
100gm margarine or butter
1/3 cup sugar



Pre heat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.

Peel, core and cut apples into thin slices. Place in pan with water and boil gently with lid on until tender, about 10 minutes. Do not stir during the cooking. Drain the apples. Drink the juice ;)

(Back comes another memory of Heather - she did exactly what Miss Haughton said not to do: she lifted her saucepan lid several times, too much steam escaped and the apples consequently burned on the bottom of the pan. The straw that broke Miss Haughton's back was when she realized that it was her very best pan that Heather had been using too. Poor old Heather copped it again.)

Back to the Method: Beat the cooked apples until smooth and sweeten to taste if desired. Place in a greased deep pie dish. If using berries, sprinkle them evenly on top of the apple.

Place self raising flour into a bowl and rub margarine into it until like fine bread crumbs. Stir in the sugar. Sprinkle over the fruit but don't press down hard.

Bake at 180 degrees Celsius (350 degrees Fahrenheit) for about half an hour until going a golden colour.



Instead of using apples you can substitute plums, rhubarb or gooseberries. If substituting these fruits you will definitely need to use sugar or otherwise it will be too tart. This dessert is delicious with either custard or ice cream.



A medium apple has about 80 calories. 25% of an apple's volume is air - that is why they float. Apples cleanse and purify the blood and the liver. They are a good source of vitamin C and fibre. Remember your Gran's old saying "An apple a day keeps the doctor away". Well it's pretty good advice. Remember to eat the skin if you want to maximize the fibre. Eating an apple decreases the chances of tooth cavities by cleaning the teeth and massaging the gums.



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