It has been far too long since I last wrote (one could see this as a good thing, since it means I've been busy), and even now I'm not sure how much I intend to write. We're in our last few days of school, and things have been simultaneously hectic and boring. I didn't have a single real class this week - the only class that met at all was Programming, and that was just for coffee and to do a year-end wrap-up and give feedback to the teacher. We also had mentorstid, which Americans may know as "homeroom", yesterday, but that hardly counts.
Wednesday, two days ago, was Sweden's national day. Neither I nor anyone I am aware of celebrated in any way, but our school would have been canceled, had it been scheduled in the first place. Hanna and I went out for ramen at Ai Ramen on Södermalm, which I can recommend to anyone in the area. Their gyoza were kind of weird; I wouldn't order them again, but the ramen itself was delicious. I ordered a glass of sake and was not carded, which felt kind of strange - the sense I get is European countries (even Sweden, with its relatively strict liquor laws) are much more lax about checking IDs, even for a rosy-cheeked twelve-year-old like myself.
At some point, probably about a week and a half ago, someone in my host family bought a lot of apples. I want to say about 10 each Granny Smith and Red Delicious apples (don't even get me started on Red Delicious apples) entered in the house, and slowly but surely progressed from under-ripe to over-ripe. I turned the worst offenders into a crumble late Tuesday night, which was delicious and leads me into an aside about pies and crumbles.
Crumbles are better than pies. I'm not saying that every crumble is better than every pie, or even that the best crumble is better than the best pie - I think the best pie is probably better than the apple crumble, and there are some pie fillings that don't translate to crumbles, like pumpkin, cream, and french silk. However, I do think that the average apple crumble is both easier and better than the average apple pie, and I think that baking a crumble is a much better choice for a low-skill amateur baker like me. To that end, I'd like to offer you a simple recipe which I devised on Tuesday. I have one of these cooling right next to my laptop, and it both looks and smells amazing.
In a small bowl, combine:
and stir until homogeneous.
In a clean bowl, combine 1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour_ with 75 g cold butter, cut into 1 cm (1/2 inch) cubes. Mix and knead by hand until a mealy… meal forms, then add:
and stir with a spatula, that wooden spoon from earlier, or some similar large instrument until incorporated. The mixture should still be mealy and retain a lot of texture.