It's apple season, the hedgerows are covered in blackberries... and these two fruits are just made for each other! Every year I grab bag-fulls of apples from the tree in my parents' garden, and with my mum I also managed to forage a little tub of juicy blackberries while out walking the dog, so I wanted to make a vegan dessert / snack that used these two fruits together. I love this recipe because it's really delicious but actually pretty healthy (in moderation)! Of course you can make this all year round with fruit from the supermarket, but there's something extra satisfying about picking the fruit yourself if you have the opportunity! Just be sure to only pick the amount of blackberries that you need, as birds love feeding on them at this time of year.
Vegan Apple and Blackberry Crumble Bars
Ingredients (makes 9 bars):
1 cup white flour
1/4 cup light brown sugar
3 Tbsp vegetable oil
Pinch of salt
2 Tbsp apple sauce (shop-bought or see recipe here)
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups of apples, peeled and diced
2 cups blackberries
2 Tbsp lemon juice
2 Tbsp water
2 Tbsp cornstarch
Optional - 2 Tbsp sugar*
1 cup oats
1/2 cup white flour
3 Tbsp light brown sugar
1/4 tsp cinnamon
2 Tbsp hazelnuts, crushed
3 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 Tbsp apple sauce
First make the bottom layer - in a bowl mix all the dry ingredients together then thoroughly mix in the wet ingredients. Then use your hands to firmly press the mixture evenly into the bottom of a pre-greased baking dish (sized between 9x9 and 10x12-inch, depending how thick you'd like your crumble bars). Preheat your oven to 180C (350F).
Now for the fruit filling layer: place the diced apples and blackberries into a pan with 1 Tbsp water and cook over a medium heat for around 5 mins until the apple starts to soften. Stir in the remaining ingredients and continue to cook for 5-10 mins until the cornstarch has thickened the mixture. Depending on the variety of fruits and how sweet you'd like these bars, you can add 1-2 Tbsp caster sugar (to taste) at this point. Now spread the fruit filling over the bottom layer in the baking dish.
For the crumble topping, simply mix together the dry ingredients in a bowl, then mix in the wet ingredients to combine. Sprinkle this on top of the fruit filling layer, just pressing down slightly. Now bake in the oven for 50-60 minutes, or until the topping has browned. Allow to cool for at least 10 minutes before cutting into squares and serving. They're lovely served warm with a scoop of vegan ice-cream or can be stored in the fridge for a few days and enjoyed cold as a snack.
Nutrition (per bar):
Protein: 4.9g (Women: 9.8% / Men: 8.9%)
Iron: 2.0mg (Women: 13.5% / Men: 23.0%)
Calories: 304 (Women: 15.2% / Men: 12.2%)
Sugars: 15.5g (Women: 17.2% / Men: 12.9%)
Total Fats: 13.7g (Women: 19.6% / Men: 14.4%)
Saturated Fats: 1.3g (Women: 6.5% / Men: 4.3%)
Salt: 0.1g (Women: 1.7% / Men: 1.7%)
Fibre: 4.3g (Women: 14.3% / Men: 14.3%)
See the Nutrition Info page for more details on % of Dietary Reference Values for men and women.