Ultimate Raspberry Apple Crumble

We moved.


Some sources will cite moving house as one of the top five sources of stress; clubbed together with death, divorce, job loss and major illness (quick aside- surely birth, plumbing emergencies and protracted entanglements with the legal system should get a glimpse in there?)

It was relatively painless. There were no oceans to cross this time. We’d already done a good de-clutter before we put the flat on the market. And I cracked and gave some lovely Japanese ladies a chunk of cash to help enclose the breakables in boxes (Captain Hectic (aka Will) and Riedel glasses are not a terrific combination).

Yet the first week in our house-near-the-sea still took some adjusting to. There was the disgruntled faces from the removalists to content with when they realised just how much sporting equipment The Hungry One had secreted away in storage. There was the leaking sink in the laundry to discover. The lack of a toilet in the main bathroom to remedy. A baby who quite frankly, freaked out at his new space and reverted back to skittish non-existent sleep.  There was the cold. Our cosy flat could be made snug just by turning on the oven. This lumbering beast of cork floors and fibro walls has countless glass windows, high ceilings and a drafty back room. As for the oven-it is not long for this world. Within the first day I had nearly gassed ourselves in an attempt to turn it on, then managed to set baking paper on fire.  It’s a clunking thing that dwells in eccentric extremes-  a Heston Blumenthal oven thermometer informed me that its 180C was actually closer to 260C, and 150C dwindled at 100C. Yesterday Will took one nibble at the corner of scorched of banana and oat cookies that I made for him and promptly dropped it over the side of his high chair in dismissive disgust. He was right. They were as dry as insulation bundles.

Yet there is so much to love. There’s the backyard. I’ve already collected toys to get started on building my kitchen garden. I have no idea what colour my thumbs are, but I’m hoping there’s a twinge of kelly green in there.

There’s the beach, not too far from here.

There’s a nearby cafe which has great coffee and  apple and berry muffins with the perfect ratio of wholesomeness to indulgence on display (muffins long being my downfall).

And there is space.

There is space for Will to roam and space for me to claim a room just for me. It has my piano (if only I could remember how to play- my fingers currently mash and mangle notes that were once second nature). It has my reading chair. And it has my books. All of my books.  And in the afternoon the light slants in and glints off their spines.  All I need is a little desk and I’ll be set.

And there’s a room for visitors. Who I can’t wait to welcome. The below crumble is the first thing I’m going to make when I get my new oven this week. It’s a gift of a recipe, from a woman who has guaranteed every other move we’ve made have been seamless endeavours. The last time my dear friend Danne came to stay, I made her put together flat pack furniture for Will. It was just before he emerged and colonised what was once her guest room with his tiny form. The time before that, she bustled into our flat with her trademark confidence, humour and fierce hugs and helped us put all of our belongings into old fruit boxes and taped the top with gaff tape, before we flew off to the great unknown. A terrifyingly talented stage manager and director, there’s very little Danne can’t wrangle with a clipboard in one hand and a roll of gaff in the other. You know a great friend when you can have just as much fun packing boxes as you can sipping margaritas.

Now we have room to welcome her and others once again.  I’m looking forward to long afternoons pottering in our backyard and a big table filled with friends late into the night. I’m looking forward to many happy years of food and the broadest possible definition of family in this new house.

And I’m looking forward to many bowls of this.

Ultimate Raspberry Apple Crumble

(Nb, this crumble was once left for us in two parts in our fridge after Danne house sat for us. It made for the perfect welcome home present- the fruit was soft and the crumble was ready to go. All it required for us to do was decant the fruit into a pie dish and scatter the crumble over the top and bake until it was bubbling and toasted. It was stellar with pooling ice cream, but Greek yoghurt or thickened cream would also be grand. The beauty of this crumble is in the restrained marriage of the acid of raspberries and the sweetness of the apples- though I think blackberries would also work just as well. And the macadamia nuts in the topping are just inspired- though if you can’t find them, shelled hazelnuts would muck in well).

Serves 4

1 x 21 cm pie dish


4-5 green apples peeled & chopped
300 g frozen raspberries
2 tablespoons caster (superfine) sugar
1 1/2 cups oats. Quick cook seems to have better taste. Rolled have a better visual/texture
½ cup plain (all-purpose) flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
½ teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup chopped macadamia nuts
4 tablespoons butter, melted

Here’s how we roll

1) Preheat oven to 180°C /350°F.

2)Steam apples with caster sugar and a sprinkle of water in a large ovenproof dish in the microwave. Cook in periods of 3 minutes stirring in between, or on the stove top. Cook until they’re beginning to soften,. Should take 9-12 mins total. When the apple is cooked, but still maintains a little bite, fold through the frozen berries (they will wilt down when the crumble bakes).

3) Combine oats, flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and nuts in a mixing bowl. Add butter and mix, first with a spoon then your hands, until ingredients are evenly moistened.

4) Spread over the apple/berry mixture. Bake for 30 minutes or until lightly browned on top. This is usually when it starts smelling awesome (Danne’s words- but she’s absolutely right).

5) Serve with ice cream, thickened cream, or Greek yoghurt.


  1. Welcome to your new home, where the positives seem to greatly weigh out the negatives despite the crazy oven, the leaking sinks etc.! Soon you can sit back and start enjoying.

  2. Oh my darling I cannot wait to see the new place. Thanks for the kick arse personal review! And for sharing my crumble with the world!!

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