Pink Pearl Apple Crumble with Thyme & Pepitas
September 11, 2018
Fall in Full Force
Let's be honest now. I think we can all agree that some of the best desserts are fall desserts. Not only is the kitchen temperature infinitely more cool, but fall desserts also mean we get to enjoy warm spices and soothing fragrances.
September is a “swing season”, meaning that the month contains late produce from the previous season and early produce from the following. Thus, with nature on my side, I opted for, in my opinion, one of the best fall desserts: a warm, easy apple crumble recipe.
I'm sticking to the classic with apples because I am a sucker for all things fall (did I hear someone say basic?). But as you all know, the diva in me can’t use REGULAR apples. I went with some more…vibrant aka the PINK pearl apples I picked up at the farmers market on Sunday. The result? A very, very pink apple crumble.
While seasonal apples provide most of the oomph in this fall dessert, I always judge an apple crisp by its crumble recipe. There's just something about the satisfying crunch and buttery aroma that hit you with each bite, really bringing the whole dish together.
Speaking of crumb toppings, let's talk about what a good crumble recipe simply MUST have. Besides the obvious texture and flavor, a crumb topping should be :
Oat-y | Okay, let's be honest here. I've never understood why there is so much hate against oats. They have a much more complex flavor profile than regular flour and are definitely on the top of my list for that picture perfect crumble. Bottom line: use oats.
Fragrant | Staying true to the fall dessert bible, I believe crumb toppings should always feature some sort of flavor. Whether it be classic fall spices or avant garde add-ins, the crisp should have a distinct flavor that complements the filling.
Easy | Yup, you heard me! Not every dessert has to be fancy and complicated. In fact, fall desserts tend to lean towards the rustic, comfort-food side of the spectrum. Thus, an easy apple crumble recipe (like this one!) is essential to my ranking of the dessert.
To add my own twist on the classic, easy apple crumble recipe, I've decided to add thyme into the filling and pepitas, or pumpkin seeds, into the crumble recipe.
The thyme pairs perfectly with the fresh fall apples, giving the fall dessert a subtle, earthy component. While the thyme is a plus, I think the real star of the show is the roasted pepita crumble topping. Not only does the natural nutty flavor of the roasted pepitas scream fall, but the seeds also provide the perfect crunch to tie the whole dessert together. After trying this out, it’s going to be a while before I go back to regular, boring crumble topping. I recommend you do the same too :)
AND as if there just isn’t enough reasons the apple crumble should be crowned dessert kween, this type of fall dessert can be easily customized to your liking. Just make sure to keep my fruit crumble guidelines in mind, and you’ll reach crumble-heaven in no time…
…and on that note, I’ve got a date with this crumble to catch! See y’all later.
Ingredients (serves 4-5)
For the Roasted Pepita Crumble Topping
8 tbsp. of butter, unsalted
1/4 cup of brown sugar
1/4 cup of granulated white sugar
1 cup of all-purpose flour
3/4 cup of whole, rolled oats
1/2 cup of unsalted pepitas, roasted and cooled
For the Apple & Thyme Filling
4 apples, cored and sliced
1 tbsp. of brown sugar
1 tbsp. of granulated white sugar
1+1/2 tsp. fresh thyme leaves
1 tbsp. of butter, unsalted
Pepita Crumble Topping
Cream the butter and sugars until light and fluffy.
Add in the flour and mix until fully incorporated and crumbly.
Fold in the oats and pumpkin seeds.
Refrigerate until needed.
Pink Pearl Apple & Thyme Filling
Core and dice the pink pearl apples into thick cubes, approximately 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch thick.
Take a step back to marvel at the rosy pink apples. Now get back to work.
Combine the cubed apples, thyme leaves, and sugars in a large bowl. Mix to incorporate.
Place filling in the desired baking dish lined.
Gently press the cold crisp topping on top of the filling, make sure to cover every inch.
Bake in a preheated 175C/350F oven for approximately one hour or until the apples are soft and the crumb topping is golden brown.
Serve warm and enjoy!