Apple Crumble Shortbread

Section 5When the lovely people over at Denby emailed, reminding me to enter The Great Denby Cake Off this year, I simply couldn’t resist!

This time of transitioning seasons is possibly my favourite period for baking. The days are getting shorter, colder and darker…but in a good way. It’s oh-so-cosy to stay inside in the evenings wearing your favourite checked pyjama bottoms and fluffy socks, warming up with a cup of tea. It was this setting that sparked the idea for my Cake Off entry. A sugary sweet, spiced slice of apple crumble. Not just to be enjoyed warm out of the oven with a dollop of custard, but perfect to wrap up and take with you for a stroll in the park.IMG_3218Ingredients

For the shortbread

  • 50g caster sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
  • 130g plain flour
  • 120g unsalted butter

For the apple layer

  • 2 apples
  • 1 tbsp plain flour
  • 1 tbsp caster sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon

For the crumble topping

  • 50g oats
  • 70g light or dark brown sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 30g plain flour
  • 50g unsalted butter


Preheat the oven to 180°C. Line an 8×8 inch baking pan with greaseproof paper, leaving some hanging over the sides so you can easily lift out the shortbread later.

In a large bowl, use a wooden spoon to vigorously mix together your shortbread ingredients – the caster sugar, vanilla extract, plain flour and unsalted butter. Add the generous pinch of salt if you love the contrast of salty and sweet, like me!IMG_3207Pop the dough into the baking pan, pressing down firmly with the back of a spoon to flatten it as much as possible.IMG_3208Bake in the hot oven for 15 minutes until golden brown all over. Meanwhile, you can crack on with the filling!

Peel your apples, quarter them and slice into wedges as thinly as you can. In a bowl, sprinkle the apple slices with the flour, sugar and cinnamon, then toss gently to combine until they all have a hearty coating.IMG_3210To make the buttery crumble topping, mix together the oats, brown sugar, cinnamon and flour in a bowl until combined. Cube in the butter.IMG_3211Rub the butter into the dry ingredients using your index fingers and thumbs, until the mixture feels like wet sand. Try a little bit of it now, and thank me later. This stuff is crazy good. IMG_3212Once your shortbread base is done, remove it from the oven and place the apple slices on top in a fairly uniform fashion so that they fit nice and snugly.IMG_3213Sprinkle over the crumble topping in big and little chunks, pressing down slightly to help it all stick.IMG_3214Bake your Autumnal beauty in the oven for 40 minutes, until the crumble is dark brown and crispy. Cool them in the pan for at least half an hour, before removing to slice up into bars. They can keep in the fridge for three days, and in my opinion are best enjoyed slightly warmed up in the microwave with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.IMG_3219Share the baking love with your family and friends this Autumn, and have a go at making our country’s much loved dessert of apple crumble into tasty bar form. These little fellas are sure to put a smile on anyone’s face after a long, hard day. They have already been requested by my new flatmates to be made again soon, which can only be a good sign!

Happy baking!


3 thoughts on “Apple Crumble Shortbread

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