My Harvest Oaty & Chocolatey Jazz Apple Crumble Recipe

We are in uproar.  We have the builders in and there is dust everywhere.  There are toys and books secreted in the four corners of the house (many of which I don’t even recognise) and an autumnal grump has descended on the Hobbis Household.

Harvest Oaty Chocolatey Apple Crumble

If there’s one thing guaranteed to lift the gloom and put a smile back on everyone’s face, it’s what I call a proper dinner – with a proper pud.  And there’s only one that ticks all the boxes – apple crumble and custard.

And, in an attempt to win some brownie points with my offspring, since they consider themselves ‘blogging orphans‘,  I have come up with a rather yummy take on their usual dessert.

Jazz Apples on a black chopping board

There are so many different types of apple but one that we’ve not tried much before is the JAZZ™ Apple – a cross between a Braeburn and a Royal Gala.  Originally from the orchards of New Zealand, the JAZZ™ Apple is available all year round and grown across Europe, USA, Chile, South American and Australia.  They are also grown here in the UK where the apples are widely available from November to the end of April.

Their taste is a mix of sweet and tart and the apples are both crunchy and very juicy – ideal for crumbles – and thanks to their texture, they will easily last for up to and over 4 weeks if you store them in a cool dark place or the fridge.

You can find JAZZ™ Apples in Aldi, Asda, Booths, Co-op, Lidl, Morrisons, M&S, Ocado, Waitrose, Tesco, Sainsbury’s and good independent greengrocers where you’ll recognise them by their distinctive blue sticker.

Here’s my JAZZ™ appley creation which I hope you enjoy as much as we did.

Apricots & Chocolate Drops

INGREDIENTS:-

For the base:-

6  JAZZ™ apples, peeled, cored and cut into chunks
6 whole Apricots in juice (stoned)
100g sultanas

For the crumble:

100g soft brown sugar
300g porridge oats
300g plain flour
100g milk chocolate drops
250g pack of butter

Caitlin holding the mixing bowl with the crumble mix

METHOD

Cook the apples in a large pan, stirring occasionally – add a splash of water if they start to stick on the bottom. When they are tender and stewed, stir in the sultanas.  We did not add extra sugar as JAZZ™ Apples are naturally sweet but you may wish to add a tablespoon or two of caster sugar.

Mix the butter, brown sugar, flour and oats together in a large mixing bowl and rub in with your fingers until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.  You could get the kids involved with this bit but make sure they’ve got aprons!

Alternatively, if you want a denser crumble, melt the butter and brown sugar together in a pan with a couple of tablespoons of honey. Add the flour and oats and mix well.

Add in your chocolate drops and mix in well, or sprinkle them on top of the assembled apple crumble according to taste.

Pour the cooked fruit into a baking tray and cover with the crumble mix  To bake, heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4 then bake for 40-50 mins until topping is crisp and golden.

The finished crumble

If you want your chocolate to melt a little more, simply put the pan under the grill for a few minutes.

Cover your apple crumble in custard or cream and dig in!

Caitlin & Ieuan playing with Jazz apples

You can find out more about JAZZ apples at their new website – https://jazzapple.com/uk/ where you’ll find recipes and competitions to whet your taste buds and get you creating all sorts of apple delights.

Or connect with them on Twitter: @JazzAppleUK, Instagram: @jazzappleuk or Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/JazzAppleUK.

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4 Quick & Easy Mid-Week Family Meals

The summer holidays are fast approaching and while the idea of six weeks free from school runs, after school activities and ferrying Caitlin and Ieuan back and forth to their various engagements is appealing, I have to find fun activities to stop them crawling the walls and coax them away from their beloved iPads. The holidays also mean I need to whizz up extra lunches, which got me thinking – let’s find some quick and easy mid-week family meals that the kids can help prepare.

Vegetables sauteeing in a frying pan on a stove

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Children love getting dirty in the kitchen and gain a real sense of responsibility and pride when they tuck into their produce, plus it’s something we can do together. Check out our favourite fast but healthy meal ideas we’ll be creating over the holidays.

Mid-week family meals to prepare in no time

Homemade baked beans on toast

Baked beans are a British staple and homemade ones are so much more delicious than the tinned variety, as well as being simple to make. Toast a slice of your favourite freshly baked bread, cover with lashings of butter et voila. Lunch is served.

Ingredients:

  • 1 large onion
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 2 x 400 g tins of beans (borlotti, kidney, black-eyed)
  • 2 x 400g tins of chopped tomatoes
  • Balsamic vinegar

Method:

  • Soften the onion and pepper in a splash of olive oil before adding the garlic.
  • Add your chosen beans and chopped tomatoes to the pan and simmer on a low heat for 10 minutes until the mixture has thickened.
  • Season with a splash of balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper.

Beefburgers in buns

Homemade beef burgers and chips

Everyone craves comfort food from time to time and burgers and chips are a real family favourite in our household.

Homemade burgers beat shop bought ones every time –they’re easy to make and can easily be frozen before cooking should you have any leftover mixture.

Team with some crispy sweet potato fries and serve with a fresh, green salad.

Ingredients:

  • 400g premium lean beef mince
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/2 medium red onion
  • 1/2 tsp olive oil
  • 1/8 tsp dried oregano
  • McCain Sweet Potato Fries
  • Salad to garnish

Method:

  • Combine the minced beef and garlic in a bowl and season with salt and pepper.
  • Form into four 1cm thick patties and grill for five minutes on each side.
  • Meanwhile thinly slice the onion, sprinkle with oregano and grill until slightly brown.
  • Place the patties in bread rolls and top with the onion, adding fries and salad on the side.

Falafels and salad

Falafel wraps

Falafel make for really healthy and tasty fast food, packed with protein and lots of exciting flavours. Serve with soft tortilla bread and load up your homemade wraps with charred veggies, salsa and hummus.

Ingredients:

  • 1 x 400 g tin of mixed beans
  • 1 x 400 g tin of chickpeas
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon harissa
  • 1 heaped teaspoon allspice
  • 1 heaped tablespoon plain flour
  • 1 bunch of fresh coriander

Method:

  • Drain the chickpeas and beans and place them in a food processor along with all the other ingredients.
  • Blitz until smooth before removing the mixture and shaping into around eight patties about 1.5 cm thick.
  • Fry the falafel in a little olive oil until golden brown and crispy and then get busy loading up your wraps with your chosen fillings.

Macaroni cheese

Macaroni cheese is a super easy and budget-friendly meal, perfect for hungry teenagers and parents alike. Smooth and creamy, this is a big hit with the little ones too. Again, if you make too much, this dish can easily be frozen and reheated later in the week.

Ingredients:

  • 250g macaroni
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp plain flour
  • 450ml milk
  • 180g Cathedral City Mature Cheddar (grated)
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp mustard powder

Method:

  • Cook the macaroni according to the packet instructions, drain and place to the side.
  • On a low heat, melt the butter and add the plain flour, black pepper and mustard powder, stirring all the time.
  • Add the milk a little at a time using a whisk to prevent lumps and bring to the boil to thicken the sauce.
  • Add a big handful of grated cheese before mixing in the drained pasta.
  • Place in a large ovenproof dish, sprinkle with more cheese and bake for 10 minutes at 180C and voila, lunch is served!

What are your favourite mid-week family meals?  I’d love to know.