Apple and Pear Honey Crumble with Toasted Almonds

Optional Vegan, Gluten Free, Refined Sugar Free

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Ok, I’ve finally accepted it. It’s officially winter now in Sydney. I may or may not have attempted to hang on to Summer for a little too long this year. I may have bought a bikini yesterday. And a pair of shorts. But to be fair the warm weather lasted for ages! There were a few chilly nights, where I insisted on wearing summer clothes and ended up having to shelter under my taller friends’ armpits for warmth. But all in all this Autumn was rather balmy. 

It’s strange how in Sydney no one really accepts that it gets cold in Winter. All through Summer everyone’s super prepared with their chilled watermelon and beach trips, but come winter literally no one knows how to act. No one even owns proper coats, let alone umbrellas or *gasp* thermals. For the first time ever last night I actually used the heating in my room, thinking, “hmm. 28C seems like a pretty nice temperature.” One hour later I woke up sweaty and panicked, dopey from all the gas in my room. I had to crawl to the remote and turn the heat down. I had to crawl.

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So today this is my slightly better remedy for winter. Everyone knows the best part about winter is the dessert. It must be warm and it must be served with vanilla ice cream. Otherwise the criteria is pretty vague. We had a whole bunch of pears and apples sitting in the fruit bowl and at first I was going to make a pie, but who has time for that?! Also, I wanted to eat this particular dessert for breakfast. This was also why I made the crumble in individual bowls, so that no confused lost soul would accidentally think I made the crumble for sharing purposes. 

I decided to try some new flavours in the crumble as a little experiment, and they worked so well I knew I had to post the recipe. The cinnamon and honey go so well with the pears! I literally couldn’t stop eating it. But the flavour that worked best was the oranges I squeezed over the fruit to stop it going brown. We had heaps of oranges as well and I juiced a couple to stop the fruit going brown as I took photos. Holy moly! It made the filling so much better! I would possibly vote this crumble one of the best I’ve ever tasted. 

Remember to serve with ice cream. And you should probably wear woolly socks whilst you eat it, preferably whilst watching Brigitte Jones Diary. But it’s up to you 🙂

One Year Ago: Tangy Lemon Curd Frozen Yogurt

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 Apple Crumble with Honey and Almonds:

6 medium firm apples, peeled and sliced 

6 medium firm pears, peeled and sliced

juice of 2-3 medium oranges

1 heaped tsp cinnamon

2 tbsp runny honey, or maple syrup for vegan

For the fruit filling, combine everything in a heavy bottomed pan and cook, covered, on a low heat for about 15 minutes, until the fruit is soft but still holding its shape. Preheat the oven to 160C (320F). 

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For the crumble:

50g butter (vegan butter or coconut butter can be substituted for vegan) chopped 

100g wholemeal flour (almond butter for gluten free)

100g gluten-free oats

40g toasted almonds, chopped roughly

2 tbsp raw sugar 

25ml almond milk

Rub the butter and flour together in a bowl between your fingers until the mixture is crumbly but not doughy. Stir in the rest of the dry ingredients until combined. Pour over the almond milk and chop through the mixture with the spoon until everything is lightly crumbly. 

Spoon the fruit into an oven proof dish (or around 6-8 small ones). Cover with the crumble and bake for half an hour, until the top is toasty and golden and the fruit bubbling. Serve warm with ice cream.

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Guest Post: Healthy Apple and Cinnamon Coconut Crumble

Vegan, Wholemeal, Low Fat, Sugar Free

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Hey guys! I’m doing a guest post over at Smoothie Lover today with this recipe and a little about my food philosophy so go check it out!
Josefine’s blog is seriously beautiful. She makes healthy vegetarian food and her desserts are always amazing! I’ve been following her for a while now and am constantly impressed by how quickly her blog has grown and how lovely her photos are becoming. This apple crumble started life out as a simple way to use up all the apples in the fridge, but it turned in to one of the tastiest crumbles ever especially with all the coconut going on in there.

Also I’m sad about the photos. Everything was going along great until the sun decided to abort mission early and set at 4 in the afternoon! Before I’d finished taking my photos!! So please forgive the lack of an inside shot and just trust that it tasted epic. I’m going to try and do another post before Easter but if not, happy holidays guys!!

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 Some of the beautiful things you have to check out on Josefine’s blog:

Her honey and dried fig scones. The combination of honey and fig anything is just out of this world and combined with a scone!!!

These perfect raw tarts would make the best fancy dessert ever!

And the tastiest looking falafel recipe ever. 

Thank you Josefine for having me on your blog today! 

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Cherry and Peach Coconut Crumble (vegan)

Vegan, Refined Sugar Free and Wholemeal

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 I hope you all had a lovely valentines day! I did exactly what I did last valentines day and ate so much gelato I got a stomach ache. A sign of a successful day I think. People always get really worked up around valentines day and I’m not sure why. It’s just a day to spread some love! I walked my dog for the first time in ages, because I love him. I made the kids I babysit some cous cous because I love them too. Why all the tears…and the photos of broken chocolate hearts and empty tubs of ice cream?! 

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 This morning I had a vision of the perfect peach crumble. Sweet, tangy, crumbly and nutty. I looked everywhere for a recipe I could use as a guideline for using coconut butter to make the topping, and there was nothing! But then I thought, come on Lil. Strap on your thinking cap and come up with something yourself for once! 

The result was ohmygodimgoingtodieamazing. The smell! The desiccated coconut and sweet butter scented the entire kitchen with peachy, mapley cinnamon goodness. The sprinkle of cherries throughout the crumble stained the peaches purple and made the house smell like fresh cherry pie. Moral of the story: make crumble for breakfast everyday. And also, think of more recipes by myself!

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 Cherry and Peach Coconut Crumble:

Topping:

1/3 cup (50g) wholemeal flour

1/3 cup (50g) plain flour

1/3 cup (30g) desiccated coconut 

1/3 cup (30g) chopped walnuts or almonds

1/3 cup (30g) brown sugar

100g (3.5 ounces) coconut butter, cut into cubes. 

30ml (2 tbsp) soy or almond milk

 

Preheat the oven to 180C. Blitz all the dry ingredients together until combined. Pour into a bowl and use your fingers to rub the coconut butter into the batter, making little lumps. Slowly add in the milk and use your fingers to turn the mix into a crumbly, sandy consistency. Don’t overmix!

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For the Filling:

6-7 medium ripe yellow peaches (white will work too) sliced into eighths. 

80g (3 ounces) ripe red cherries

1 tsp cinnamon

Optional: 1-2 tbsp maple syrup, depending how sweet your peaches are. 

 

Toss the fruit with the maple syrup and cinnamon and pour into a baking dish. Top with the crumble and bake for 35 minutes, until golden on top and the fruit is cooked through. Serve warm, with coconut ice cream!

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Apple, Almond and Raspberry Crumble Cake

Gluten Free and Refined Sugar Free, opt. Vegan

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 The first cake I ever made was a peach upside down cake. I was on holidays at Jervis Bay and me, my sister and friend were thinking of something to do. It was raining, so we couldn’t go swimming or bike riding. And it was still those olden days when kids didn’t have Iphones or laptops until they were at least thirteen. So we decided to make a cake. We cut up a peach and put it in the bottom of a cake pan. Then we got a Green’s cake mix and added the water and eggs, then poured it over the top. Pretty impressive for some little kiddies right? If only we’d buttered the pan. 

I remember making that cake was the first baking I’d ever seen or done in my life. No one baked in my family and we didn’t even really eat sweets, besides for cream and jam sponge cake on our birthdays. I thought the cake was incredible! The peaches sunk into the cake and made a crispy, jammy layer on the bottom of the pan. The cake was raw in the middle and overflowing at times, but it was a real cake! Full of fresh peaches no less. It made me think of all the other possible things you could try to put in a cake. It made me realise that cakes don’t have to only be one flavour! Recipes are just a guideline ripe and ready for adapting!

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 While it can be fun to follow a recipe exactly, especially a complicated one, and come out on the other side with the perfect chocolate mousse or the perfect meringue, making your own way usually leads to the most memorable desserts. This cake/crumble/fruit blob today is the perfect example of where deviating from the recipe can end up in something way yummier and more exciting than you originally intended. I had been dreaming of these rhubarb crumble bars for ages, and was planning on making an apple and rhubarb version with cinnamon instead of coconut. And then I lost the rhubarb…apparently it was in the drinks fridge. (Yes, the most plausible place to keep rhubarb, I agree) But I’d already cut up all my apples!

I used London Bakes Blackberry and Oat Crumble as a base and decided to adapt it to make some gluten free raspberry and apple crumble bars. Everyone likes raspberry and apple right? But when the “bars” came out of the oven, bars they were not. I’d added too much fruit to base ratio to start with, and the crumble was freestyling all over the place, more like an apple crisp than a bar! Oh no! But then I tried it. Wow. It was so rich and almondy and tart from the berries, gooey and sweet from the apples, crunchy and coconutty, cinnamon flecked, vanilla scented, heaven. I wouldn’t change a single thing in this recipe. It’s the perfect comforting bowl of crumble, because there’s a nutty almond base that tastes exactly like the filling in an almond croissant! And it soaks up all those pesky fruit juices. Vanilla Ice Cream is the only thing that should accompany a big, steaming serve of this apple and raspberry almond…cake? Crumble? Let’s just call it pudding. 

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Apple, Almond and Raspberry Crumble Cake: Adapted from this recipe

300g (2.5 cups) chopped apple (about 3 medium)

50g (1/3 cup) raspberries

30g (2 tbsp) demerara sugar

50g (1/2 cup) almond meal

55g (1/2 stick) butter or coconut butter, cold and cubed 

30g (1/4 cup) oats

20g (2 tbsp) mixed seeds and slivered nuts

 

110g (1 stick) butter or coconut butter

160ml (3/4 cup) honey

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 eggs or 2 tbsp chia seeds mixed with 4 tbsp water and left to gel

100g (1 cup) almond meal

1 tsp baking powder

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Use your fingers to crumble the 50g almond meal, 50g butter and raw sugar into a bread-crumb like consistency. Stir in the oats and seeds. Preheat the oven to 160C (340F). Line a 20cm x 20cm (8 x 8 inch) pan with baking paper. Beat the 110g butter and honey together until smooth and fluffy. Add in the chia eggs or normal eggs and beat until smooth. Add in the vanilla, then the almond meal and baking powder. Mix until smooth. Pour into the bottom of the tin and smooth down. Sprinkle over the chopped apple (you can leave the skin on) and the raspberries. Sprinkle over the crumble mix. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the fruit is soft and oozing and the cake edges are set. Eat warm with ice cream! 

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Carrot, Pear and Quinoa Crumble Muffins (vegan, sugar free)

Vegan and Sugar Free

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I am so, sooo sick of the election lead-up. Everywhere you look, Abbot and the Ruddmeister smiling and waving creepily, commercials of little children being cast in to darkness because nobody cares about their education! Ridiculous slogans like “stop the boats,” that will be played back in thirty years as an example of how backwards and racist Australians used to be. 

It makes me sad that in this “democratic” country so many people’s votes are shaped not by party’s policies, but by fear campaigns and propaganda spread by the media controlled by a certain someone I won’t name (Murdoch). I don’t want this post to be all about politics and I don’t want to alienate anyone with my views, but it’s hard not to say a word or two when the election is tomorrow! 

It’s embarrassing to think what overseas countries must see in Australian politics. It seems that every three years, all the darkest and ugliest sides of Australia come out and take centre stage for a while, even though most of these views are held by a minority for the rest of the term. For instance gay marriage has been a hot topic this election, and instead of playing out as a cooperative and respectful debate it has become a monster of homophobia, discrimination and name-calling. Within the parties too, not just in general society. It’s such a horrible point to use as a defining policy and it shines negatively on the entire liberal party to take such a primitive and old-fashioned stance. The worst part is, it’s gaining them votes, not losing them. 

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 Sorry about that rant! And on to these muffins. I love muffins but so often they’re the most unhealthy option in the entire cafe. They can be packed full of preservatives, sugar, margarine and other strange ingredients I’ve never heard of, especially if you buy them at the supermarket or make them from a muffin mix. 

That’s where these bad boys step in! Each muffin has a whopping 7 grams of protein! That’s an entire serving, which for a vegetarian is like Christmas come early. They are also intensely delicious. I had a little “taste test” so I could explain the quinoa flour flavour to everyone, and I ended up eating an entire muffin. They are fruity and sweet and packed full of flavours like coconut, sultanas, walnuts, carrot and pear and cinnamon and vanilla and are you drooling yet?? The honey flavour really shines through and gives the loveliest sweetness and crunch to these muffins. 

But it’s the crumble that takes them to the next level. 

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Coconut, sunflower seeds, poppy seeds, flaked almonds and nutty wholemeal flour come together in a medley of love to create a very crunchy and flavoursome topping. Don’t do what I did and pour hot honey over the crumble, because that will melt your butter like nothing else. Also don’t under-estimate just how much crumble your muffins can take! 

I have a terrible condition of overfilling my muffin cases, and this crumble topping was a great way of exercising control. Once the crumble’s on you can’t add any more muffin mix! Genius. These muffins are great the day they are made, but wait for them to cool down before eating them because all the flavours come together more. Also quinoa flour! What is that you may wonder? It is ground quinoa and it has an earthy, strong flavour that works well here because it is completely masked by the other ingredients. 

I wouldn’t know if you could substitute more than I have, but I would proceed with caution. It’s naturally gluten free so doesn’t behave like normal flour, and depending on the brand it can have a powerful “plant” flavour that can be overwhelming in lighter cakes. It’s very good for you though! So lets all continue to experiment with it and tell me what you discover.

Can’t get enough of your muffin fix? Here’s some recipes I’ve been eyeing this week:
Delicious Oatmeal Muffins from 101 Cookbooks
Mini Almond and Roasted Strawberry Muffins from Sprouted Kitchen so cute!
Plums and Almond Muffins from A Tasty Love Story look amaaazing.

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Carrot and Pear Crumble Muffins: Adapted from Ottolenghi 

Topping:

60g (1/4 cup) coconut butter, in pieces (or regular butter for non-vegan)

50g (1/2 cup) wholemeal flour

45ml (1/3 cup) runny honey or maple syrup for vegan

1 tsp olive oil and 1 tsp water

50g (1/4 cup) oats

25g (1 tbsp) desiccated coconut

30g (1 heaped tbsp) sunflower seeds

20g (1 heaped tblsp) poppy seeds

15g (1 tbsp) flaked almonds

In a bowl, mix with your fingers the flour and butter until sandy. Add the other ingredients and mix until crumbly with your hands. Set aside. 

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Muffins:

4 tbsp chia seeds mixed with 8 tbsp of water to form a gel (or 4 large eggs)

200g (1.5 cups + 1 tbsp) plain flour sifted with 100g (3/4 cup) quinoa flour (or all plain/half wholemeal)

1 tsp baking powder

2 tsp cinnamon

2 tsp vanilla extract

200g (1 +3/4 cups each) each grated carrot and pear (apple works too)

270ml (3/4 cup + 1 tbsp) honey or maple syrup for vegan

160ml (2/3 cup) olive oil

50g (2.5 tbsp) desiccated coconut

100g (2/3 cup) sultanas

100g (3/4 cup) walnuts, chopped

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Preheat the oven to 170C (340F) and line 12-14 muffin pans. Mix together the flour, baking powder and cinnamon and sift well. In a large bowl mix the chia gel or eggs, honey, oil, carrots, pears and vanilla. Stir in the walnuts, coconut and sultanas. Fold in the flour mixture and gently combine. Spoon into 12-14 muffin cases and sprinkle with the  crumble generously, pushing it down so it sticks to the muffin mix. Bake for 18-25 minutes until golden brown and crunchy on top. Leave to cool and then eat them!

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Rhubarb and Coconut Crumble Slice

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I have one thing to say about this cake. It made me do something I have done never before. Never. Before. I had just taken the first photo, picked up a knife to cut out an artful slice. Before I knew what was happening my camera had been flung to the side, I had grabbed a plate and was eating an enormous piece right there in the morning sunshine. It was glorious. 
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The base is a buttermilk cake that bakes into a deep, golden yellow full of lemon zest and cinnamon. On top of this, fresh rhubarb is chopped up with sweet and crisp apples. This is tossed with sugar and lemon juice so that it bakes into a sweet, jammy, tart centre. What makes this cake perfect though is the coconut and brown sugar topping, that bakes into a deep brown crunchy crumble. I ate it while it was still warm and the fruit juices were just starting to set into a ruby jelly around the edges. I made it to last a few days, and I’m sure it would have tasted lovely the next morning with some tea. Unfortunately everyone that’s walked through the door has taken one look and demanded a slice, and then looked up with exactly the same look of “whaaat is this slice TALKIN ABOUT.” Eight hours later there’s hardly any left.
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I read about this delicious recipe on Smitten Kitchen, and was drawn to it because of the huge bunch of rhubarb we had. Family friends recently gave us a bag full of lemons from their tree. The zest was so fragrant I increased the amount to two teaspoons and added lemon juice to the rhubarb and apple. The coconut in the topping was a little bit of an experiment, but I’m so glad I tried it. It makes the crumble chunky and crispy, and adds a tropical flavour. If you don’t have any rhubarb, stone fruits would work well instead. Apples could be nice except the sugar would have to be reduced, otherwise it might end up too sweet.
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Rhubarb and Coconut Crumble Slice: Adapted from here

500 grams (17.5 ounces, 1 pound) rhubarb, cut into 1cm chunks

2 small apples, peeled and cut into chunks

2 tsp lemon zest and the juice of the whole lemon

150 grams (2/3 cup) sugar + 100 grams (1/2 cup) sugar, separate

2 large eggs

110 grams (1 stick, 4 ounces) butter

165 grams (1 + 1/3 cups) plain flour

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp cinnamon

100ml (1/3 cup) buttermilk 

Toss the apple, rhubarb, sugar and lemon juice with 150g of the sugar and set aside. Preheat the oven to 165C and line a 20 by 25cm pan (also works with slightly larger) with baking paper so that the edges are overhanging. Beat the sugar and butter together until fluffy and light and slowly add the eggs one at a time. Whisk the flour, baking powder and cinnamon together and stir half into the mix, than stir in half the buttermilk. Repeat and mix until just combined. Pat into the pan with a spatula and pour the fruit on top evenly. 
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Topping:

50 grams plain flour

85 grams fine desiccated coconut

1 tsp cinnamon

50 grams brown sugar

55 grams butter, melted. 

Stir all the ingredients together until lumpy and toss over the fruit. Bake for 40-50 minutes until the top is golden and the cake is no longer crumby on a skewer. Allow to cool so the fruit is set before removing from the pan and cutting into slices. 

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