Mamma Mia!: Nan’s ‘Italian’ Crumble

As I can’t seem to shut up about, I recently visited Italy…but because I have memories of my Nan always having a tin of a biscotti to enjoy with her coffee, I thought the perfect birthday gift for her would be just that.  Could only laugh when she opened the tin to find they weren’t the typical, finger-sized and dunk-able , rock-hard biscuit, Venezia’s Famous Biscotti were in fact wafer-thin, almond-flavoured ‘crackers’.  She was, quote and unquote ‘not keen!’ and started brainstorming about what uses they could have rather than disintegrating in a hot cuppa.

Here’s what she came up with: an Italian twist to an ever so British classic. The biscotti were bought from an Italian airport but am sure any type will do the job. Just grab a few handfuls and bash in a plastic bag to result in different sized, crumbly bits. The different sizes will mean the larger bits of biscotti will add crunch and chew where as the finer crumbs will add a lovely almond flavour.

Nan’s ‘Italian’ Apple & Blackberry Crumble


Measure out 6 ounces of flour

3 ounces of hard butter

3 ounces of sugar.

Rub together in large bowl as if making pastry.

Bash in bag 4 ounces or so of chosen biscotti

Mix in.

Add the zest and juice of 1 orange.

Cook 1 pound of sliced cooking apples in a tiny bit of water. (Tip: make sure you keep the apples in water when peeling to keep from going brown, drain before cooking leaving the tiny bit in the saucepan)

Add 3 ounces of sugar into the saucepan. (Tip: the amount of sugar depends on the apples and your preference)

Cook on a very low light until soft and add in preferred amount of frozen blackberries.

Add the fruit to the bottom of a ceramic dish. 

Cover with the crumble mixture and bake on a high-ish heat until the fruit is bubbling and the topping golden.


Serves about 8 (or 4 if portions are generous!) Goes beautifully with custard.

**All photos taken by Kelsi Farrington on iPhone using VSCOcam


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