My all time favourite fruit is in season right now in Australia. Seeing that slightly mottled orange and red citrus skin in the fruit markets fills me with such delight, because I know that under that skin is a glorious bejewelled deep red flesh that only belongs to the blood orange. The blood orange originated in Sicily in Italy and its flavour is orange like, but richer with a slightly bitter flavour giving off notes of raspberries. I mean, what’s not to love about that!
Sometimes, you cut into them and they only have hints of redness. Other times deep red juice comes oozing out of them immediately and the segments have more facets than the brightest ruby. Ok, enough waxing lyrical about the blood orange… lets just take a look at it.
I recently came across blood oranges in one of my favourite farm shops and after buying as many as my arms could carry, I almost instantly decided I would make a blood orange and apple crumble with some of them. I loved the idea of combining apple, blood orange and cardamom for the crumble filling and also incorporating the blood orange zest into the crumble topping.
Sometimes recipes require a lot of thinking and planning to get the flavours and method right but other times they jump into the head fully formed. Perhaps my love of the blood orange inspired the latter in this instance.
A crumble is such a great winter dessert because it is both easy to make and quick to prepare. You can easily make a crumble earlier in the day (or even the day before) and then just pop it in the oven while eating dinner to have for dessert. Equal parts comforting and delicious, a crumble is also the perfect vehicle for thick cream or ice cream.
For this recipe the apples are cooked in the juice of a few blood oranges turning them a gorgeous shade of pink. A little sugar and cardamom is then added before it is all tipped into a dish and topped with fresh blood orange segments. A simple crumble topping with flour, butter, oats, sugar and blood orange zest is then sprinkled on top and it is popped in the oven for 30 minutes until the topping is golden and that’s it. It is a simple and easy recipe that showcases the beauty of the blood orange.
Blood Orange Apple Crumble
- 5 blood oranges
- 1kg Granny Smith apples
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cardamom
- 250g plain flour
- 80g rolled oats
- 125g unsalted butter, cubed
- 150g brown sugar
Zest two blood oranges and set aside the zest. Juice the two blood oranges you have zested and also add the juice of two more blood oranges. For the final blood orange you will want to segment it and set it aside. If you haven't segmented an orange before, here is a great video showing how its done.
In a large frypan, combine coconut oil and the blood orange juice and heat over medium/low heat until coconut oil has melted. Add the apples and cook gently for 5 minutes until softened. Add the sugar and cardamom to the pan and cook for a further 2 minutes. Transfer the filling to a baking dish and top with blood orange segments. set aside.
To make the crumble combine the flour, oats, brown sugar and blood orange zest in a large bowl and mix until well combined. Add the butter and rub it in with your fingertips until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Sprinkle the crumble topping evenly on top. There is enough crumble mixture to have a thick layer on one crumble or a thinner layer on two crumbles. You can freeze any leftover crumble mix until you have enough fruit to make another one.
When ready to cook, preheat oven to 180°C and cook for 30 minutes or until the crumble topping is golden. Serve warm with thick cream or ice cream.