Come September, and the soft, cinnamony aroma of warm blackberry and apple crumble wafting through kitchens across the land marks the happy arrival of autumn and it’s abundance of seasonal fruits, ripe for the picking - and cooking. Yum.
Here at Craft Gin Club, we love to experiment with classic recipes - whether it’s for cocktails, homemade gin, or, as here, some of our favourite bakes, and we think our resident gin baker Eloise has outdone herself with this gorgeous, gin-infused blackberry and apple cheesecake crumble slice!
You can easily substitute the flavours here for whatever seasonal fruit you prefer – rhubarb or plum, for example, would add a juicy bite to the bars. Got some of last year’s sloe gin waiting to be used up? Swap it in for an extra flavourful twist!
Gin-soaked Blackberry & Apple Crumble Slice
For the blackberries:
2tbsp sugar (remove if using sloe gin)
For the apples:
500g cooking apples, like Braeburn
50g light brown sugar
2 tbsp cornstarch
For the crumble:
200g light brown sugar
220g plain flour
1tsp baking powder
100g porridge oats
200g slightly salted butter, melted
Flaked almonds, to top
For the cream cheese filling:
250g cream cheese
25g icing sugar
1tbsp lemon juice
To macerate the blackberries, toss them in a container with the sugar and gin. Leave to soak for a few hours, then strain out the gin and set aside.
Preheat the oven to 200c. Line a 20cm square tin with baking parchment.
Peel, core and dice the apples. Add to a medium saucepan with 50ml of water, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla and brown sugar. Heat on a low simmer for 5 minutes. Combine 50ml of water with the cornstarch. Add the mixture to the pan along with the leftover gin and simmer for another 5 minutes, until the apples are soft.
In a bowl, mix together the sugar, flour, baking powder and oats. Pour in the melted butter and combine until you reach a sandy consistency. Keep 1/3 of the mix aside for the topping and press the remaining ⅔ of the crumble into the base of your tin. A bit of parchment wrapped around the bottom of a glass works well here to get a densely packed base.
To make the cream cheese filling, beat together the cream cheese, icing sugar, egg, vanilla and lemon juice until light and fluffy. Use a spatula to layer this on top of your crumble base.
Evenly scatter the macerated blackberries on top of the cream filling, then cover with the apple mix. Finally cover with the remaining crumble.
Bake on the middle shelf for 20 minutes. Scatter the top with flaked almonds then bake for another 10 minutes until the top is golden and crispy. Leave to cool for an hour, then refrigerate for a few hours before removing from the pan and slicing into squares.
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