Saturday, 27 April 2013

Apple, Feijoa and Raspberry Crumble

Saturday's are fantastic! We had a really nice morning meeting up with our great friends at the Taniwha Festival at Bastion Point to go and look at the kites that were flying, then Kaylah had a play-date while I did the groceries with Mia...note to self that there is a reason why I try to avoid doing the groceries on the weekend - it's manic in there!

We usually make Saturday takeaway night, and tonight it was Thai on the menu. Had my usual seafood salad - spicy, light, yummy! With eating gluten and dairy free, takeaway options do become a little more limited so we generally end up getting indian, thai or gluten free/dairy free pizza (gluten free bases and no cheese!). Thai does use a bit of soy sauce which tends to have gluten in it (pretty rare that a restaurant uses tamari sauce!) but we try and either get dishes that have no soy sauce in them or ask for no soy sauce to be added. 

Eating out is always a bit of a gamble because with a lot of gluten containing flavourings it can be very difficult to tell if they really have been left out, so it's a case of either always preparing your own food, or just accepting that sometimes we might just be eating something we didn't want. Thankfully none of us are coeliac so we don't have to worry as much. 

On the menu for dessert was a yummy little concoction that I have been overusing lately due to the sudden glut of feijoas and apples we have in the garden. Easiest way to use them? Feijoa and apple crumble! I've been adding raspberries as well just for depth of flavor and the combination is delicious. 

I forgot to take a photo of the prep of the apples - kind of happens when you have a 4 year old weilding a knife beside you chopping up feijoas! But the apples I just chopped into 1-2cm cubes (skin on) and simmered in water, a little squeeze of lemon and a splash of vanilla essence until just soft. You can leave this stage out if you don't mind, or prefer, you apples a little crunchy. With the soft feijoas, the quick-cooking berries and the crumble topping which browns very quickly, this crumble does not go in the oven for long. If the apples are pre-cooked it means that the texture of the fruits will all be consistent, but if you prefer a bit of crunch just throw it all in together and then sprinkle the crumble on top. Alternatively you could cover the crumble with foil so that you can leave it in the oven longer and just remove the foil for 10mins or so at the end to give the crumble its crunch.

A little picture of the frozen berries being sprinkled over the feijoas and apples - so pretty! You can use fresh raspberries if you have a spare kidney you are willing to sell to pay for them. If I could I would eat raspberries all day long, but sadly at $7 or $8 per punnet it is not an option! Frozen do the job just as well and there are some really good organic options available in your supermarket freezer if you want to go the extra mile for your health. 

Crumble on and all ready to go in the oven...

Time to eat!!!

Crumbles are such an easy dessert to make, and this one ticks all sorts of health boxes - it's gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, free of refined sugar, but not free of yumminess!

I've written up a recipe but really, with a dessert like this, it's really all about your own personal tastes so play around with the quantities and flavours if you're that way inclined (I cannot use a recipe without tinkering with it!). Let me know if you have any other great ideas for this dessert.

Apple, Feijoa and Raspberry Crumble

For the fruit base:
  • 2 cups Feijoa flesh (not sure how many feijoas, very dependent on the size of feijoa you have)
  • 4 medium apples, cored and diced into 1-2cm pieces (skin on preferably for nutrients, but whatever you prefer). 
  • 1 cup raspberries (fresh or frozen)
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 3 tsp raw honey or sweetener of choice (optional)
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • juice of half a lemon
  • 1tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup water
For the crumble topping:
  • 1 cup raw walnuts
  • 1/2 cup raw almonds
  • 1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut (you can use desiccated, I just prefer the look and texture of the shredded for this recipe)
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil (you could use half coconut oil and half butter if you are not dairy-free)
  • 1tsp allspice
  • 1tsp nutmeg
  • 8 dried dates 
  • 1/8th cup boiling water (you can use 6 Medjool dates if preferred in which case you do not need the boiling water)

1. Preheat oven to 180C (160 fan-bake) and get out an ovenproof dish (approx. 25x15cm, but just whatever you have is fine).
2. If you are using the dried dates for the crumble topping, pour the boiling water over them and leave to soften for about 10 minutes.

3. To make the fruit base, dice the apples and put them in a small pot with the 1/2 cup water, lemon juice, vanilla and cinnamon.
4. Bring to a simmer and cook until softened (to your liking). 

5. While this is cooking, chop your feijoas and scoop out the flesh. Add to your baking dish.
6. When the apples are ready add them to the feijoas in the baking dish along with the lemon zest. I just put the honey as three blobs on top of the fruit mixture as it will melt in the oven, but you could add it in with the apples if you wanted it pre-melted.
7. Sprinkle raspberries over the top of the rest of the fruit.

8. To make the crumble topping put the walnuts, almonds, coconut oil, allspice, nutmeg and dates into a blender. blend until combined (does not have to be smooth, as a bit of nutty crunchiness really adds to the mixture).
9. Tip into a bowl and mix in the shredded coconut. The mixture will end up a kind of moist lumpy, crumbly kind of consistency.
10. Tip crumble mixture over the fruit mixture to evenly cover. 
11. Put into the preheated oven for approximately 15-20 mins, but keep an eye on it as the crumble mixture can brown very quickly. 
12. Remove from the oven and dig in! We just ate it as it was, but you can have it with any additions that take your fancy.