If you've got access to some gooseberries, then this apple and gooseberry crumble is a must. Apples add a little natural sweetness, and the topping is made from oats for extra texture and crunch. It's a delicious combination.
Apple and gooseberry crumble is very much a seasonal treat as the gooseberry season is fairly short, and they are not widely available in the shops. They are one of the few fruits that I can't find frozen, although I suspect that frozen gooseberries are available in some farm shops. If you've got your own crop, they do freeze very well.
Gooseberries are a naturally tart fruit which is related to currants. Red and purple varieties, often known as dessert gooseberries, tend to be sweeter. Mine are greenish in colour, but turn more of a gold yellow as they ripen. However, if I leave them to fully ripen on the bush, they'll be taken by the birds:(
Like many other berries, gooseberries are high in antioxidants, fibre, and a good source of vitamin C.
Note: gooseberries are not the same as cape gooseberries, which are little orange fruits with a papery husk.
If you are a fan of gooseberries, you might also like to try this gooseberry fool with custard.
This apple and gooseberry crumble recipe is quick and easy to make, with just a few ingredients.
Gooseberries. Any variety of gooseberry will work in this recipe. If you've lucky enough to have a stash in your freezer, there's no need even to defrost them.
Apples. Apples add a good texture to the crumble, along with a little natural sweetness. I prefer to use Bramley or cooking apples, as they cook down easily.
Cinnamon. Optional, but adds extra sweetness
Sugar. I usually make low sugar recipes, but you will need to add some extra sweetness when cooking with gooseberries. You can use granulated, castor, brown or demerara sugar. If you prefer you could drizzle some honey or maple syrup over the fruit instead of a tablespoon of sugar.
Butter, salted or unsalted. For a vegan apple and gooseberry crumble, use a vegan butter or coconut oil.
Oats. It's best to use porridge or rolled oats. If you've only got jumbo oats, blitz them for slightly longer in the food processor to break them down a little. You could also use instant oats, but you'll lose some of the texture. If you want a gluten free gooseberry crumble, make sure that you use certified gluten free oats.
How to make apple and gooseberry crumble
Prepare the crumble topping first so that the cooking apples don't go brown. Add the oats, butter and 2 tablespoons of sugar to a food processor and pulse until mixed together and starting to look clumpy. If you don't want to use a food processor, soften the butter in a pan and mix in the oats and sugar.
Top and tail the gooseberries
Topping and tailing gooseberries is quick and easy. You simply need to pinch the little blossom end and stem from the fruit. I prefer to pinch it off with my finger and thumb, but you could use a pair of kitchen scissors if you prefer. If you have frozen your gooseberries, it's really easy to just rub off the tops and tails from the fruit whilst it is frozen. Don't wait until the gooseberries have defrosted as they'll squish and it'll be very messy!
Peel the apple. Cut the flesh away from the core, and slice the apples into approximately 0.5 cm slices. Try to keep the apple slices fairly consistent in thickness so that they cook through easily.
Add the prepared gooseberries and apple to your baking dish, sprinkle in the cinnamon and the remaining tablespoon of sugar and mix together.
Top with the oat crumble mixture and spread the topping over the fruit. It doesn't matter if there's a little fruit peeping through.
Bake in a preheated oven for 35-40 minutes until golden. If using dessert apples, check that they are cooked through with the point of a knife, and if necessary cook the crumble for slightly longer.
Serving and storage
Serve apple and gooseberry crumble hot or cold. It's perfect with easy homemade custard. It'll store in the fridge for 3 or 4 days. You can freeze it too, or freeze the uncooked crumble topping so you'll save time when you next make the recipe.
Frequently asked questions
Gooseberries freeze really well, so you could pop them in the freezer for later in the year. You can also make a quick gooseberry compote - simply stew the gooseberries with a little sugar for about 10 minutes or until the skin splits and the fruit is soft.
Yes, you can use eating apples if you prefer. Dessert apples will take a little longer to soften, so insert a knife into the cooked crumble to check that they are soft. If necessary, pop the crumble back in the oven for a few more minutes.
That's really down to personal taste. If you use a baking dish approximately 20 cm across, the topping on this recipe will be about 2 cm thick.
More healthy crumble recipes to try
There's a crumble recipe for every season:) Start the year with rhubarb, and work your way through summer berries (fresh or frozen) and autumn fruit crumble. Apple and almond crumble has ground almonds in the topping which adds extra crunch.
Have you tried this recipe? Please leave a rating and/or comment at the bottom of the page. Your feedback and questions are much appreciated.
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Apple and Gooseberry Crumble
- Food processor or can mix by hand
- 20 cm pie dish approx
- 300 g gooseberries fresh or frozen
- 300 g cooking apples (1 large) or use dessert apples
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- 3 tablespoon sugar
- 150 g porridge or rolled oats certified GF if necessary
- 50 g butter room temperature
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees (160 fan).
- Add the oats, butter and 2 tablespoons of sugar to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until mixed and clumping together slightly. Don't over process the mixture otherwise you'll lose the texture of the oats.
- If you want to make the mixture by hand, soften the butter slightly in a pan over a low heat and mix in the oats and sugar.
- Prepare the fruit. Top and tail the gooseberries. Peel the apple, and cut the flesh from the core. Cut into 0.5 cm slices.
- Add the fruit to the baking dish and mix in the remaining tablespoon of sugar and ground cinnamon. Add the crumble topping and cover the fruit.
- Bake for 35-40 minutes until golden. Dessert apples will take slightly longer to soften, so check they are cooked through properly with a point of a knife.
Please note nutritional information is for guidance only