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#555409 - Sun Oct 03 2010 01:02 PM Crumble - where did I go wrong?
martin_cube Offline
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Registered: Mon Sep 18 2006
Posts: 2532
Loc: Bristol England UK        
Cooking novice that I am, I tried to make apple crumble from scratch. The crumble part consisted of plain flour, brown sugar & cubes of butter, which when 'rubbed in' was supposed to resemble breadcrumbs. Mine resembled some kind of dough! (Or Doh! might be more appropriate.) I followed the instuctions as best I could & even watched a video of the process before starting. Any clues what I did wrong please?
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#555415 - Sun Oct 03 2010 01:15 PM Re: Crumble - where did I go wrong? [Re: martin_cube]
guitargoddess Offline
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Posts: 37222
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Sounds to me like your butter might have been too soft. What did you use to combine it with the dry ingredients? I find using two forks to be easier than any other tool.
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#555421 - Sun Oct 03 2010 01:40 PM Re: Crumble - where did I go wrong? [Re: guitargoddess]
martin_cube Offline
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Registered: Mon Sep 18 2006
Posts: 2532
Loc: Bristol England UK        
I just used my fingers to mix it. The butter was not long out of the fridge and, as this is the UK and it's October, the butter shouldn't have been too soft. (It's quite chilly today.) Maybe I mixed it too well?
It'll be a packet of crumble if I ever get tempted to try again!
Incidentally, I cooked it anyway. I may have invented Apple Crust. I'll let you know how it tastes. smile
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#555429 - Sun Oct 03 2010 02:38 PM Re: Crumble - where did I go wrong? [Re: martin_cube]
guitargoddess Offline
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Could be - maybe your hands were too warm! In any case, I suspect it will still taste good smile
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#555430 - Sun Oct 03 2010 02:39 PM Re: Crumble - where did I go wrong? [Re: martin_cube]
Deunan Offline
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Registered: Fri May 21 2010
Posts: 66
Loc: Colorado USA
Butter (stick) must be cold and hard. Place the cut up butter, flour and brown sugar into a chilled bowl. Taking two butter knives, start dragging them through the mixture in opposite directions - but at the same time (parallel to each other). Continue in this manner until the mixture resembles chunky breadcrumbs. Turning the bowl a quarter turn once or twice will incorporate the ingredients more thoroughly.

A pastry cutter may be used if the butter knife method is not your cup of tea. Use a rocking type motion when utilizing this device. "Cut" the mixture with the pastry cutter, turn the bowl a quarter turn and repeat the procedure until the desired "breadcrumb" look is achieved.

http://static.open.salon.com/files/pastry_cutter1246388029.jpg

Happy baking!

How much longer until the Apple Crust is done and you are able to tell us how it turned out?









Edited by Deunan (Sun Oct 03 2010 02:42 PM)
Edit Reason: Clarification of instructions

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#555436 - Sun Oct 03 2010 03:23 PM Re: Crumble - where did I go wrong? [Re: Deunan]
martin_cube Offline
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Registered: Mon Sep 18 2006
Posts: 2532
Loc: Bristol England UK        
It turned out OK as it happens. Pictures below if anyone is curioUs as to what Apple Crust looks like:

http://i143.photobucket.com/albums/r159/martin_cube/IMG00147-20101003-2044.jpg
http://i143.photobucket.com/albums/r159/martin_cube/IMG00149-20101003-2046.jpg

Thank you for your tips, I'll bear them in mind if I should decide to try again. wink
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#555437 - Sun Oct 03 2010 03:24 PM Re: Crumble - where did I go wrong? [Re: Deunan]
rossian Online   content
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Registered: Sat Jun 10 2006
Posts: 2383
Loc: Merseyside UK 
If it turned to dough, I'd suspect you may have had too much butter. I make crumble by rubbing through my fingertips, but just using the flour and butter to start with and then mixing the sugar into the 'breadcrumb' mixture afterwards - in fact, I made scones this afternoon using the same techniques and ingredients, apart from caster sugar instead of brown.
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#555438 - Sun Oct 03 2010 03:49 PM Re: Crumble - where did I go wrong? [Re: martin_cube]
Deunan Offline
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Registered: Fri May 21 2010
Posts: 66
Loc: Colorado USA
Originally Posted By: martin_cube
It turned out OK as it happens. Pictures below if anyone is curioUs as to what Apple Crust looks like:

http://i143.photobucket.com/albums/r159/martin_cube/IMG00147-20101003-2044.jpg
http://i143.photobucket.com/albums/r159/martin_cube/IMG00149-20101003-2046.jpg

Thank you for your tips, I'll bear them in mind if I should decide to try again. wink


Share?

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#555473 - Sun Oct 03 2010 05:49 PM Re: Crumble - where did I go wrong? [Re: Deunan]
martin_cube Offline
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Registered: Mon Sep 18 2006
Posts: 2532
Loc: Bristol England UK        
Originally Posted By: Deunan
Originally Posted By: martin_cube
It turned out OK as it happens. Pictures below if anyone is curioUs as to what Apple Crust looks like:

http://i143.photobucket.com/albums/r159/martin_cube/IMG00147-20101003-2044.jpg
http://i143.photobucket.com/albums/r159/martin_cube/IMG00149-20101003-2046.jpg

Thank you for your tips, I'll bear them in mind if I should decide to try again. wink


Share?


Sure, I'll save you some. Cream or custard?
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#555474 - Sun Oct 03 2010 05:52 PM Re: Crumble - where did I go wrong? [Re: rossian]
martin_cube Offline
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Registered: Mon Sep 18 2006
Posts: 2532
Loc: Bristol England UK        
Originally Posted By: rossian
If it turned to dough, I'd suspect you may have had too much butter. I make crumble by rubbing through my fingertips, but just using the flour and butter to start with and then mixing the sugar into the 'breadcrumb' mixture afterwards - in fact, I made scones this afternoon using the same techniques and ingredients, apart from caster sugar instead of brown.


I think you might be right Rossian, at least that how it seemed to me. I went by the measurements on a trusted site (the BBC no less) and it seemed to me that 200g was too much. But hey, what do I know? lol
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#555477 - Sun Oct 03 2010 06:43 PM Re: Crumble - where did I go wrong? [Re: martin_cube]
lesley153 Offline
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Registered: Fri Sep 07 2007
Posts: 734
Loc: Bedford England UK           
Originally Posted By: martin_cube
it seemed to me that 200g was too much


When we learnt to make pastry and crumble in school, too many years ago to count, we had "half fat to flour" drummed into us, and we used 4 ounces of butter to 8 ounces of flour. So 200g of butter would be perfect if you were using 400g of flour, and that's a very big crumble!

I've watched a few videos too, and there seem to be as many recipes and methods as people. For instance, they say that the butter must be cold, or room temperature, or softened, except Nancy Today, who stirs it in melted.

Some of them put the sugar in at the beginning, and some of them say that doing that "creams" the mixture, which may explain the crust effect you got, although I bet it tasted good anyway.

Better luck next time Please let us know how you get on.
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#555556 - Mon Oct 04 2010 07:21 AM Re: Crumble - where did I go wrong? [Re: lesley153]
sue943 Offline
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Loc: Jersey
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Are you sure that you only rubbed it in? I sounds as if you might have 'worked it'.
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#555607 - Mon Oct 04 2010 11:46 AM Re: Crumble - where did I go wrong? [Re: sue943]
martin_cube Offline
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Registered: Mon Sep 18 2006
Posts: 2532
Loc: Bristol England UK        
Sue. It's possible that I overdid the rubbing in which caused it to dough-ify. Having never done it before then I knew no better. My cubes of butter might have been to big/small too. I think I'll video it next time so everyone can see where (if) I go wrong.

I like the thought of 'working the crumble'. Sounds like a fitness video! (Then again, with all that butter in the mix, a fitness video might be just what's needed afterwards.) smile
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#555691 - Mon Oct 04 2010 05:43 PM Re: Crumble - where did I go wrong? [Re: martin_cube]
ren33 Offline
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Registered: Thu Sep 30 1999
Posts: 12062
Loc: Fanling
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No I really think Leslie is right and you used too much butter. The rule, as she says is 2 to 1, double the flour to butter.
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#555695 - Mon Oct 04 2010 06:19 PM Re: Crumble - where did I go wrong? [Re: ren33]
lesley153 Offline
Mainstay

Registered: Fri Sep 07 2007
Posts: 734
Loc: Bedford England UK           
Thanks, Ren, makes a nice change. smile

Martin, was the recipe you used anything like this?

http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/applecrumblewithcust_81609

Ingredients
For the apple crumble
150g/5½oz unsalted butter
½ tsp ground ginger
1 Bramley apple, peeled, cored and finely chopped
2 tsp caster sugar
100g/3½oz plain flour
100g/3½oz brown sugar

For the custard
150ml/5fl oz whole milk
150ml/5fl oz double cream
1 vanilla pod, split lengthways and seeds scraped out
2 large free-range egg yolks
2 tbsp caster sugar

Two ounces of the butter are to be taken out and used to cook the apples in (WHY?) but the remaining butter is the same weight as the flour, and the whole thing is a heart attack on a plate. So's the custard! Naughty James Martin.

Are you up to finding a teacher, or a local cookery course?
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#555703 - Mon Oct 04 2010 07:12 PM Re: Crumble - where did I go wrong? [Re: lesley153]
martin_cube Offline
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Registered: Mon Sep 18 2006
Posts: 2532
Loc: Bristol England UK        
It was a different one actually:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/applecrumble_2971


IngredientsFor the crumble
•300g/10½oz plain flour, sieved pinch of salt

•175g/6oz unrefined brown sugar

•200g/7oz unsalted butter, cubed at room temperature

•Knob of butter for greasing

For the filling
•450g/1lb apples, peeled, cored and cut into 1cm/½in pieces

•50g/2oz unrefined brown sugar

•1 tbsp plain flour

•1 pinch of ground cinnamon


I measured the crumble part out exactly so it has to be my technique or lack thereof.
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#555707 - Mon Oct 04 2010 08:02 PM Re: Crumble - where did I go wrong? [Re: martin_cube]
lesley153 Offline
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Registered: Fri Sep 07 2007
Posts: 734
Loc: Bedford England UK           
Originally Posted By: martin_cube
I measured the crumble part out exactly so it has to be my technique or lack thereof.


No, it was the ingredients. Much too much butter!

I like the idea of a video demonstrating technique, and Lesley Waters is good at it. The only problem is, she doesn't demonstrate technique. It's perfectly possible to make a crumble topping without lifting the flour to aerate and cool it. I would like to have seen what she did with her fingers and thumbs to get the breadcrumb effect. You saw everything but.

That's why I wondered if you would consider having a human teacher, rather than an electronic one, because you can get methods demonstrated, and you can get instant answers to your questions. Depends on how much you want to learn to do, or if you just want to add apple crumble to your repertoire.
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#555817 - Tue Oct 05 2010 11:16 AM Re: Crumble - where did I go wrong? [Re: lesley153]
martin_cube Offline
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Registered: Mon Sep 18 2006
Posts: 2532
Loc: Bristol England UK        
I'm not planning on making a habit of it Lesley. I only attempted this because a friend of mine had been out 'scrumping' for apples and let me have some of their swag. smile
I'm not a complete dead-loss as a cook - my omelettes are a legend in their own lunchtime - it's just when I try something new that the problems begin. But with all the helpful advice I've had on here I can scarcely go wrong next time I think.
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#555980 - Wed Oct 06 2010 01:19 AM Re: Crumble - where did I go wrong? [Re: martin_cube]
rossian Online   content
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Registered: Sat Jun 10 2006
Posts: 2383
Loc: Merseyside UK 
My family will be impressed that I worked out what caused your problem - it is a standing joke that I can't cook. They have never forgotten a disaster I had when the gravy turned out white. They have it wrong, of course, it's not that I can't cook but I choose not to when someone else will do it for me.
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#556002 - Wed Oct 06 2010 06:22 AM Re: Crumble - where did I go wrong? [Re: martin_cube]
lesley153 Offline
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Registered: Fri Sep 07 2007
Posts: 734
Loc: Bedford England UK           
Originally Posted By: martin_cube
I can scarcely go wrong next time I think.
May it be soon. If there is enough swag left, you'll be able to make enough crumble for everyone who posted here! (Yum.)

Originally Posted By: rossian
it's not that I can't cook but I choose not to when someone else will do it for me.
Oh dear - men say things like that! although sprog, who has been away and self-maintaining for four years, told me that there isn't a man in captivity who will starve when there isn't a woman to cook for him. Isn't that nice to know!

A friend has got together with a man who was self-maintaining for many years, and he said he loves it when she cooks because she's so much better at it than she is. Creep! laugh
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I appreciate people who are civil, whether they mean it or not. I think: Be civil. Do not cherish your opinion over my feelings. There's a vanity to candor that isn't really worth it. Be kind. ~ Richard Greenberg

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#556303 - Thu Oct 07 2010 05:34 PM Re: Crumble - where did I go wrong? [Re: lesley153]
Lones78 Offline
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Registered: Mon Apr 27 2009
Posts: 1420
Loc: Forrestfield Western Australia
That is completely different to the crumble recipe I use. I also find it strange that there are no oats in your crumble - I thought it was a major part of it?

Anyway this is the one I use if you are interested....

150g softened butter (chopped)
125g Demerara sugar (although I use brown sugar and it turns out ok)
125g flour (I THINK plain flour - off the top of my head)
125g rolled oats

Rub it all between your fingers until it is mixed well (a few minutes) then put on top of your apple mixture (which for me is stewed apples and a bit of caster sugar) and cook for about 30 mins on 180 degrees celsius.

Strangely enough, I got this recipe from my son's kids recipe cards and it is the best one I have found. I figure if it's easy enough for them to put it on a kids recipe card then I can't stuff it up too badly - can I? grin
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#556329 - Thu Oct 07 2010 07:19 PM Re: Crumble - where did I go wrong? [Re: Lones78]
lesley153 Offline
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Registered: Fri Sep 07 2007
Posts: 734
Loc: Bedford England UK           
The basic crumble topping proportions are half fat to flour, and the same weight of sugar as fat. Oats are optional and a relatively recent addition to crumble topping. Some recipes include spices and nuts.

This article lists variations on the basic recipe, and includes a particularly good how-to video. You can actually see every step, including rubbing-in starting at about 3:40.

http://www.recipes4us.co.uk/Crumble%20Toppings.htm

(Edited to add link!)


Edited by lesley153 (Thu Oct 07 2010 07:20 PM)
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#559072 - Thu Oct 21 2010 05:46 AM Re: Crumble - where did I go wrong? [Re: lesley153]
lady1 Offline
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Registered: Wed Jun 07 2006
Posts: 20697
Loc: Gauteng South Africa          
I have found if the dough is sticky and does not form 'crumbs', the best thing to do is to grate the dough over the apples with a grater. Works every time. smile
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