I've tried dozens of apple pie, tart and crumble recipes over the years, but still think that this streusel, found in one of Robert Carrier's collections, is by far the most delectable. Roasting the apple at a high temperature adds to the flavour, and, there's no separate cooking of the apple, so its quick to prepare as well..
To suit local palates I have increased the spice quantities from Carrier's original, and you can omit the pastry base if you wish.If you are using a wide dish (25+cm diam) you may need to increase quantity of topping ingredients - if so, increase each ingredient by 25g to 100g.
Whether you serve it with cream, custard or icecream is up to you - when entertaining, I splash out on mascarpone, thinned with a little pouring cream and a good splash of Cape brandy, then whipped. Dont' substitute margarine for the butter and don't use bottled lemon juice.
6 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and cut into eighths
juice of 1 - 2 lemons
1 shortcrust pastry shell, unbaked
light brown sugar
1tsp powdered cinnamon
1tsp powdered allspice
half tsp grated nutmeg
75g brown caramel sugar
75g butter, softened
75g cake flour
Toss the apple pieces in plenty of lemon juice. Bake the pastry case blind at 200 deg C for 10 mins. Cool slightly then arrange the apple in the shell. Combine the sugar and spices and sprinkle over, turning the apple so they all get coated.
Make the topping by combining the 3 ingredients, mixing until you have a crumbly texture. Crumble it evenly over the apples. Bake at 230 - 240 deg C for 15 mins. Reduce oven temperature to 180 deg C and bake a further 30 mins. Check after 10 - 15 minutes, and, if top is browning too much, cover top loosely with a round of foil.
Serves 6 generously.