Someone’s Mum’s Apple Shortbread




As everyone knows, last night was the much anticipated election for the United States. I had to work till 9pm and when I came home, The General was already installed in front of the TV with Doritos and there was a bit of a party atmosphere in the air, as I tore off my coat and settled in to watch the results turn over in companionable silence. To me, it felt historically important, exciting; in all likelihood, we would be witnessing the first woman to be elected President.

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Someone’s Mum’s Simple, Yet Superior, Apple Crumble

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1 cup flour

¾ rolled oats, not quick or instant

1 cup brown sugar

½ cup melted butter

1 tsp. cinnamon

5 cups thinly sliced peeled apples



½ cup white sugar

2/3 cup filtered water

1 Tbs. lemon juice

2 tsp. pure vanilla

2 Tbs. cornstarch mixed with 2 Tbs.water


  1. In a small saucepan combine the sugar, water, vanilla and lemon juice.
  2. Bring to a boil then quickly remove from heat and whisk in the cornstarch/water slurry, stirring till slightly thickened and shiny.
  3. Combine the first five ingredients listed and press HALF of crumbly sand gently into a buttered 9” x 9” baking dish.
  4. Add the sliced apples and pour sauce over everything, then press the remaining crumbs lightly on top.
  5. Bake at 350 F for about an hour but check at 50 minutes. All we’re looking for here is a crisp topping and tender apples underneath. Serve warm or room temperature with plenty of cream, custard, vanilla ice cream or hell, all three.
  6. ***NOTE: The vanilla is KEY in this recipe so do not omit. If you have no vanilla in the house, consider making some of Jamie Oliver’s Vanilla Sugar which is fantastic to have in at all times. You will also then be able to whip off the lid to inhale deeply whenever you like. Basically, (from The Naked Chef), Jamie adds used vanilla bean pods to a container of sugar and then whizzes up the entire thing in a food processor to make a supremely vanilla-y caster sugar.)






So I went to pick up some peaches yesterday (we went through the large container I got last week very quickly after sharing with Frasier who’s been over to nobly assist The General with some technical issues) and was told that the peaches are done for the season!

Not earth shattering news I understand but I was saddened that The Season had ended so suddenly for me, at least, and worse still without my noticing that it’s now close to the end of September …

Since I had also gathered all the ingredients to make a peach crumble/crisp/buckle or something equally comforting the next obvious choice was to get some really decent apples.

And then I started thinking about all the stories in my life associated with apples and thought I’d thrill you with a few highlights.

Food is, after all, so interwoven with memories.

It’s a very primitive, important thing. Continue reading