Sunday, 26 February 2012

Jeroen Meus's Apple Crumble

Jeroen Meus is one of the local celebrity chefs, much raved about by the BF's mom. His specialty is making traditional Flemish food simple so that people can cook it in the work week.

I'm usually not much of a fan, as I've the same beef with Flemish food as with most "northern" food: too heavy, over-reliance on meat and potatoes, and (this one might be specifically Flemish) sauce overkill.
Our work canteen (with serves a canteen -read bad- version of traditional Flemish food) is no stranger to serving as many as 3 sauces in/on top of a single dish, not counting all the mayonnaise&co sauces you can add yourself...
Don't get me wrong, the Flemish/Belgians have some yummy dishes too (vol au vent, stoverij and waterzooi come to mind, and of course their world famous chocolate, fries, mussels, beer, speculaas...).

So anyway, I had never been inclined to try one of Jeroen Meus' recipes... Until he made apple crumble! Now that's not typically Flemish, but I suppose he wanted to introduce a bit of variation...

Here is the original recipe (in Dutch). I followed it pretty much exactly except for removing a few bits and bobs I didn't like (raisins, cardamom, star aniseed).

Here's a translation:

Ingredients for 4 servings:

For the crumble:
125 g flour
100 g oat flakes
115 g butter
100 g sugar
1 pinch of cinnamon powder

For the apple mix:
4 apples
3 tablespoons of brown sugar (yes I know he's mixing metric and imperial... I just sprinkled some brown sugar over the cut apples)
A slog of rum (he used rum to rehydrate the raisins, but since I wasn't using raisins, I figured I'd just add it to the apples)

Serving suggestion:

With 1 scoop of speculaas ice cream per person (speculaas ice cream is made from speculaas biscuits and is veeerrryyy good, but I just didn't have any...).


1. Dice the (cold) butter.
2. In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, the oat flakes, the sugar and the diced butter.
Add a pinch of cinnamon and mix with your hands until you get a crumbly dough.

3. Preheat the oven to 200°C.
4. Peel and core the apples. Cut into chunks.
5. Butter an oven dish, place the apples in it and stir the brown sugar in the apples.
6. Add the crumbly dough evenly over the apples and bake for 25-30 min.


Pretty good, but a few things to tweak for next time:
- use less sugar in the crumble dough (it was too sweet for my taste)
- either cut the apples chunks smaller, or use a lower temperature and bake for longer (the apples were just about cooked while the crumble was browning a bit).

Damn, now I feel like apple crumble again :S