Apples may be available all year round in the northern hemisphere, but they are simply the best (in flavour and nutrient content) during their peak in autumn – approximately August to November. Blackberries also appear around August, and have a short growing season, so it is great to stock up and preserve some of those luscious berries for the winter. Being an invasive species here, the berries in this gorgeous Blackberry Apple Crumble were easily foraged locally in and around my city, but they can also be found at farmers’ markets and grocery stores throughout their short season.
Apples from an Eastern Perspective
The familiar apple is considered a healthy food in Western culture due to their high vitamin C, fibre and water content, but the East takes it a little further. In Ayurveda teachings, apples are considered to be sweet, astringent and cooling to the body (great for Pitta-types – you can find your dosha here!).
Similarly, in Traditional Chinese Medicine, apples are Yin in nature – sweet, sour and astringent. They are helpful in cooling heat symptoms and moistening dryness. Apples help the liver process proteins and fats, soften gallstones, and, being an Autumn (metal element) food, they aid the lungs through their moistening, cleansing, strengthening and decongesting nature. Apple pectin may even bind harmful radiation in the body.
Apples pair well with autumn berries for optimal digestion – so while I don’t recommend gorging on this crumble by any means, it does have a few things going for it, right?
Bonus – those with histamine intolerance may find they can tolerate fruit such as apples best when they are fresh and in season! Cooking may also help reduce high histamine contents.
Fruit crumbles are an easy way to enjoy your harvest spoils in or out of season, as they work very well with frozen fruit when you no longer have fresh. You can also use absolutely any seasonal fruit you love – peaches, pears, and plums, oh my!
I love the rustic simplicity of a warm, slightly spicy blackberry apple crumble that is easily prepared in minutes! (Hint – this pairs delightfully with my Autumn Spiced Coffee!)
Blackberry Apple Crumble (serves 6-8)
2 c. fresh or defrosted blackberries
3 c. chopped apple, skin on or off (4 medium apples)
½ Tbsp tapioca or arrowroot starch
2 tsp cinnamon, divided in half
1/2 tsp ginger
½ c. tigernut flour
¼ c. tapioca starch
¾ c. shredded coconut (or 1/3 c. hemp seeds*)
1/3 c. extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp dark maple syrup (optional)
Preheat oven to 350F.
Add berries and chopped apples to an 8×8 baking dish, and add ½ Tbsp starch and 1 tsp cinnamon. Mix to incorporate into fruit.
In a separate bowl, mix rest of cinnamon with remaining dry ingredients.
Mix in olive oil and syrup until you have a softly mould-able, but crumbly texture. Sprinkle mixture over fruit and pat down firmly.
Bake at 350F for 20-30 minutes, or until topping is golden and crispy, and a fork easily inserts into the apples.
*NB: to make this crumble coconut-free, try using the hemp seeds as suggested, or for strict AIP, try some tigernut flakes. Tigernuts are super high in fibre, and have a slightly sweet, nutty flavour and texture.