Mother’s Day Apple Crumble

The last time I wished my Mother a Happy Mother’s Day was 34 years ago. I was just 6 years old, and, two months later, she died. Not a day has gone by without me missing her terribly, wishing I could talk with her, ask her advice or hear her voice. I would have loved to have shared my wedding plans with her, and the news of my baby boy. Now, watching him at 7 years old, I see how innocent and helpless I was all those years ago. I wish I could take that little girl that was me and protect her from the many years of hurt and disappointment that would follow. I could prepare her for the journey of life without her Mum.

Becoming a mother myself was one of the most important goals I ever set for myself. I’ve never had career aspirations and for many years didn’t have a clue what direction I wanted to go in, but I knew I wanted to be someone’s mum…to love them, look after them, protect them, enjoy watching them grow. It may have made me somewhat over protective, but it has made me very aware of many things I possibly wouldn’t have been aware of otherwise. Wisdom is gained through experience. Experience is gained through hard work and sometimes hardship. Apple CrumbleI was lucky enough to have two step moms. One was your stereotypical step mother from hell, which taught me many of life’s more cruel lessons, but thankfully she wasn’t around for very long; the other a young mum herself at the time, who courageously took on two more children. I think that must be one of the toughest things for any person to do; committing to loving and caring for someone else’s children while trying to treat them as equals to your own. It didn’t always work, but female teenage hormones also added spice to the pot, but looking back at the last 30 years, and certainly since having my own family, I salute anyone who makes that decision. She is one in a million and has taught me much.

Being a Mother is hard work, it’s a 24-hour-a-day, 7-day-a-week calling…a gift and a privilege, and to include a well used cliché, also the most rewarding thing I have ever done . Finding out you’re pregnant, feeling that little baby grow inside you; experiencing the strength and vitality of your body when it’s time to push that new person out into the world…and only then does the excitement truly begin. To all mothers through the ages, the world is a better place when we’re the best Mums we can be. Love openly, honestly, generously and consistently with all the fun, laughter and happiness every child deserves. I truly understand that when you become a mother, you walk through the rest of your life with your heart outside your body.

In honour of our celebrations this Mother’s Day, I made Apple Crumble tonight using a recipe I was given by another very special lady I met a long time ago – the mother of my first serious boyfriend. She always gave the best cuddles and I always felt like “coming home” when she closed her arms around me. I have adapted the recipe slightly to make it my own.

In the absence of knowing what my birth Mother’s favourite colour was, or what her signature dish might have been; whether she preferred sunrise or sunset, or if she would have been proud of me making the decisions I have made in my life so far – she was my Mum, and I want to wish her, and every other Mother a very happy and special Mother’s Day.

Cherish your mums. You’ll miss them one day when they’re no longer around.

2 x 400 g tins sliced pie apples in syrup
2 tbsp caster sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla bean paste or the seeds from 2 vanilla pods
fresh pouring cream and/or vanilla ice cream, to serve

Crumble topping:
½ cup plain flour
50 g cold unsalted butter, finely chopped
2 – 3 tbsp soft brown sugar
¼ cup rolled oats
4 tbsp shredded or desiccated coconut, or a combination of both

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C and grease 4 small ovenproof dishes, approximately 1 – 1½ cup capacity.
  2. Place the apple slices and syrup into a large bowl.
  3. Sprinkle over the caster sugar, ground cinnamon and vanilla bean paste or seeds. Combine well.
  4. Divide between the 4 bowls.
  5. To make the crumble topping, place the flour and butter into a bowl. Rub the butter into the flour gently, using the tips of your fingers, until the mixture looks like coarse crumbs. It might look a bit sticky but that’s OK, just the heat from your hands probably melting the butter a little.
  6. Add the sugar, oats and coconut and stir well.
  7. Layer the topping over the apple mixture and cook in the preheated oven for about 25 minutes or until the topping turns a beautiful golden colour.
  8. Allow to stand for a few minutes before pouring over the fresh cream or adding generous dollops of ice cream, or both!

Enjoy! back to top

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