Recipe: Bake Off Steph’s fabulous fruit streusel
- Credit: Steph Blackwell
Cheshire Life columnist Steph Blackwell shares her brilliant way to make those seasonal apples and blackberries shine
I’m not letting go of summer yet but I can so feel it, autumn is coming and I need some comfort to prepare me for this, September often gets me all nostalgic; the memory of returning to school for another year; often faced with new surroundings and challenges, friends to be made and teachers to annoy. It also sparks in me a memory of school dinners, notably desserts. I don’t recall being particularly choosy when it came to pudding; in fact, I’d often go back for a second helping regardless of what was on offer! My favourite though was any sort of fruit crumble, streusel or tart usually served with vanilla custard and to this day, I swear I can still taste the crunchy, buttery crust masking the sticky sweet fruit beneath.
This poignant memory etched in my mind seemed a good place to start for this month’s recipe. The combination of apple and blackberry in this streusel tart, is a marriage made in heaven. Ideal for use of home-grown or foraged fruit at this time of year. The filling is delicious on its own and any leftovers can be used as an accompaniment to yoghurt, porridge, ice cream, or even frozen and used at a later date. Encased in shortcrust pastry, topped with a buttery almond and cinnamon streusel topping, and served warm with custard, and a drizzle of the fruit syrup, this is possibly one of the most comforting and satisfying desserts you will eat, in my opinion!!
Better still, the individual components can be prepared in advance and stored in the fridge/freezer. The finished tart can also be made ahead and kept for up to a day at room temperature, stored in an airtight container… so no excuses, go get your bake on.
Autumn fruit streusel tart
For the pastry
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225g plain flour
125g cold butter, cubed
30g caster sugar
1 large egg, beaten
1 large egg yolk for egg wash
*You can double the required amount for the pastry, the remainder can be frozen and used at a later date.
For the apple & blackberry filling
200g fresh blackberries
750g Bramley apples, peeled, cored and cut into chunks
100g caster sugar
Zest of 1 lemon
For the streusel topping
55g cold butter
55g plain flour
40g ground almonds
70g light brown muscovado sugar
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
Handful flaked almonds
Looking for more recipes inspiration? Try Steph’s raspberry and white chocolate roulade
Prepare the pastry. Measure out the butter and flour into a food processor. Pulse until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs, add the sugar, egg and 1 tablespoon of water and pulse until the mixture starts to come together. Remove from the processor and bring together to form a smooth dough – do not overwork. Wrap in cling film and place in the fridge for an hour minimum.
Meanwhile prepare the filling, placing the prepared apples, lemon zest and sugar into a saucepan with one tablespoon of water over a medium heat, stir gently for around five minutes before covering with a lid and simmering for around 10-15 mins (or until the apples begin to soften whilst maintaining their shape). Add the blackberries and stir through. Cook for a further five to 10 minutes. Set aside to cool.
Once the pastry has rested, preheat the oven to 200C/180C fan. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to around 3mm thick. Cut out a circle large enough to line an 8 inch fluted tart tin. Press into the base and sides of the tin. Prick the base all over with a fork and pop back in the fridge for around 30 minutes.
Line the chilled pastry case with parchment and baking beans and cook in the oven for 15 minutes. Remove the beans and paper, use a pastry brush to brush the pastry case with egg yolk and lower the oven temperature to 160C/140C fan. Bake for a further 10 minutes before setting aside to cool, leaving the oven on.
Meanwhile prepare the streusel topping. Measure out all of the ingredients, less the flaked almonds, into a bowl. Rub together until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Cover with cling film and pop in the fridge until ready to use.
Once the pastry case and cooked fruits have cooled, strain the fruit using a sieve or colander, reserve the fruit juices for later. Spoon the strained fruit into the pastry case – there may be some left over which can be used as a porridge or yoghurt topping at breakfast! Sprinkle the streusel mixture over the fruit and scatter with a handful of flaked almonds. Bake in the oven (at the same temperature) for 25-30 minutes or until the streusel is golden.
While the tart is baking, pop the reserved fruit juices into a small saucepan, bring to a boil and simmer for around five minutes or until thick and syrupy. Serve the tart warm in slices with the fruit syrup and custard or an accompaniment of your choosing.
Have you tried one of Steph’s glorious bakes? Visit @cheshirelifemag on Instagram and tag us in your photos.