A crumble is not a traditional German or Romanian dessert, so I haven’t had the chance to enjoy it too often. But on those rare occasions when I did (I can count them on one hand), I savored every single spoonful. And what’s there not to like? A juicy melt-in-your-mouth layer of sweet, baked fruits alone is pure bliss to me, but when it gets topped with crunchy crumbles infused with sweet warming spices it becomes a full-fledged, comforting, delicious and satiating dessert. Just perfect as a healthy treat on a chilly day, and you can use any leftovers for a luscious breakfast.
The recipe I’m sharing here combines fragrant quinces with apples. The fruits are delicately flavored with star anise and cardamom, and topped with a crunchy layer of cinnamony hazelnuts and rolled oats. I love quinces in general and they work really well in this dessert. But as they are available only for a short period of time (at least in Germany), you might want to substitute them for other fruits such as pears, stone fruits, or berries, which will work fine too.
Quinces and Apple Crumble with Hazelnuts and Warming Winter Spices
- You’ll need a small baking dish (20x30 cm).
- 2-3 quinces about 500-750 g
- 300 ml orange juice
- 1 star anise or 2 if you like a more intense anise flavor
- 5 green cardamom seeds
- 4 tbsp rice syrup
- 3 big apples about 750 g
- 100 g rolled oats
- 100 g hazelnuts coarsely chopped
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 50 g coconut sugar
- 4 tbsp rapeseed oil or any other neutral oil
- Peel the quinces, divide them into eights, remove the core, and cut them into cubes.
- Pour the orange juice into a pot, and add the star anise, cardamom seeds, rice syrup and cubed quinces. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer on low heat for about 10 minutes (lid on).
- Peel the apples, cut them open, remove the core and cube them. Add the apple cubes to the pot as well and simmer for another 5 minutes. When done, the fruits should be soft but not mashed.
- For the crumble, combine all the ingredients.
- In a baking dish, arrange the cooked fruits and layer the crumbles on top.
- Bake at 160° (fan on) for about 20 minutes, until the hazelnuts turn brown and the spices start to smell sweetly.