This recipe is my variation on an old family favourite apple dessert. The original calls for apples to be peeled, quartered and cored, which I think reflects the logic of its time. The recipe was intended for fruit that had been dry-stored, and the longer an apple is kept, the less attractive the peel—and the more likely it is hiding bruises or other damage. These days, in addition to other means of storing them, fresh apples can be purchased year-round. If undamaged, I prefer to keep the skins on for extra colour, texture and vitamins. I always wash my fruit in fresh water before using, so I’m not worried about dirt. It’s still pretty easy to cut out bad bits as you see them, while cutting the fruit to size. I still use apple quarters, if I’m making the original recipe, but I cut them smaller here to complement the size of the other fruit. Main ingredients of similar size mix more evenly than those of greatly different sizes. Finally, Grandma’s recipe simply called for one cup of sugar, and half the amount of fruit given here, reflecting Americans’ notorious sweet tooth. My tastes have changed, and I now prefer a much less sweet topping, unless the fruit is particularly tart.
Makes 8 generous servings.
|4 cups||Apples, cleaned, cored and cut in equal sized small pieces.|
|2 cups||Diced rhubarb, fresh or frozen|
|2 cups||Raspberries, fresh or frozen|
|½ cup||Butter or margarine|
|1 cup||Plain flour|
|1/2 to 1 cup||Granulated sugar|
If using frozen fruit, first allow it to thaw enough to separate the pieces, but not so much that the juices run.
- Preheat oven to 350F/180C/gas mark 4. (I do this while preparing the apples.)
- Gently combine fruit pieces and put in ungreased, large (2 quart) casserole dish. Set aside.
- Melt butter in small saucepan over low heat.
- Stir in flour. All the fat should be incorporated, and the mixture should tend to ball up.
- Add the egg, stirring quickly enough to prevent the white cooking separately. Mixture will be loose.
- Stir in sugar. The mixture will now bind together, but come away from the pan easily.
- Spread flour mixture over fruit.
- Bake for one hour, until golden and crispy on top.
Serve warm with vanilla ice cream.