Apple Crumble is not dissimilar to Apple Crisp - apples on the bottom, crumbly crispy topping on the top. But this is different. To start with the apples are on top, although they are still covered with crumble. This is a cakey, puddingy, delight that is comfort food personified. The dates add a lush richness and the spicing is warm and flavourful.
You can serve it like cake with ice cream or cream, or very warm with custard like a traditional British pudding. It’s even good cold as ‘squares’. Versatile, delicious and comforting - the perfect cake for this time of year.
For the cake
¾ cup butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon almond flavouring
1⅓ cup all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon ginger
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
½ cup chopped stoned dates
For the topping
2 large apples
⅓ all purpose flour
1 teaspoon ginger
¼ cup white sugar
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons cold butter, diced
You need an 8 inch square pan, preferably with a loose bottom. Grease and flour or line the cake pan. Preheat the oven to 350℉ (170℃).
To make the crumble, mix together the flour, ginger and sugars. Cut in the butter using a pastry blender until the mixture resembles fine crumbs. Put in the fridge.
To make the cake, sift the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger and cloves into a separate bowl. Mix in the dates. Set aside.
Using an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Break the eggs into a separate bowl and beat lightly. Add the eggs to the butter and sugar mixture along with the almond flavouring and beat together.
Remove the mixer bowl from the mixer and using a wooden spoon, gently stir in the flour and date mixture until blended. Pour the batter into the cake tin, smoothing the top.
Peel, core, quarter and slice the apples, laying them on top of the batter. Remove the crumble mixture from the fridge and sprinkle over the apples.
Bake for 50 to 60 minutes until golden brown and a skewer or piece of dried spaghetti inserted in the cake comes out clean. Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Carefully remove the cake from the baking pan.
Serve warm or at room temperature with cream, custard or ice cream.