Crumbles and crisps are essentially the same type of old fashioned dessert – lightly sweetened fruit topped with crumbly shortbread pastry. Crisps are often called crumbles in the UK.
With the bitter cold, this crumble is is more indulgent, featuring the love affair between apples and cheddar cheese. The practice of combining cheese, fruit, and nuts dates back to ancient times, often served at the end of a meal because they were thought to aid in digestion. From the earliest days through the Renaissance, partaking of these foods was generally considered a privileged of the wealthy. This practice was continued by wealthy dinners composed of many courses up until the 19th century.
Warming Apple-Cheddar Crumble
- 2 pounds tart green apples, peeled, cored and sliced (6 cups)
- 1/2 cup golden raisins
- 1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
- 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp. ground nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp. ground cardamon
- 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup rolled oats
- 1 1/4 cups(5 ounces) finely shredded sharp cheddar cheese, at room temperature
- 4 tbsp. unsalted butter cut into 1″ pieces
- 1/2 cup coarsely chopped pecans
- Créme Anglaise, vanilla ice cream, or non fat plain yoghurt sweetened with honey.
- Preheat your oven to 400 F.
- Combine the apples, raisins, 2/3 cup of the brown sugar and spices. Turn mixture into a shallow 3 quart baking dish.
- In a small bowl, combine the remaining sugar, flour, oats, and 3/4 cup of the cheese. Cut in the butter with a pastry blender to rub in with your fingers until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in the remaining cheese and pecans. Sprinkle over the apples.
- Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until the apples are tender and juicy and the topping is golden brown. Let sit 5 minutes, then spoon into bowls and serve hot or warm with Créme Anglaise, ice cream, or non fat plain yoghurt sweetened with honey.