• Lara Flanagan

Apple & Raspberry Pie Crumble

Updated: Feb 28


I hate bodily fluids.  I really, really hate them.  Most things that the body creates tend to make me squeamish or if I am completely honest, violently ill.  Poo, wee, vomit all make me want to chuck.  And I don’t want to talk about anything else that the body creates which is probably why it is a really good thing that I am single or not a doctor or both.  One of the biggest lies of Stepford Parenting bullshit I ever heard was “It doesn’t smell when it is your own” or “you don’t mind when it is your own baby”.   What sort of rot is that?


If it is poo, it is poo.  If it is stinky, evil devil spawn shit, it is still stinky, evil devil spawn shit, even if it comes out of your baby.   Actually it makes it worse if it is your baby.  I would like to think that my babies are a bit like me, i.e. my poo doesn’t smell and I never, ever fart.   I will never forget that revolting, god awful, black tar poo of death that Archie and Rissie did on day 3 or 4 of their lives which made me question the whole parenting thing.   We had been warned that it was normal and to expect it but under no circumstances did I believe anybody.   I thought it was like the warning on antibiotics labels that tells you not to consume alcohol whilst on this medication.  I have constantly tried to see if I can experience the joys of mixing antibiotics and alcohol but the effects seem to elude me.   So I thought the warning of the black tar killer poo was a bit of a myth.


When I did get home with these two tiny little babies and one day I opened their nappies to see this god awful stinky tar, I felt like I had been physically and emotionally assaulted.   What sort of creatures created poo like that?  What was wrong with them?  Had I accidentally been impregnated by an alien whilst I slept?  Could I send them back?   What was worse is that I had to clean it up.   It felt like the death poo went on forever and forever and I would never get their little bottoms clean.  Sometimes parenting sucks great big hairy donkey’s balls.   I have similar feelings about vomit.   This is despite the fact that I am an excellent vomiter and one of my key skill sets listed top in my CV is the fact that I can silently and neatly vomit.  I had many a late night mini-cab ride in my London days when I would do the great big silent vomit out the window thus leaving no mess and making no noise.


We had to go down the range to Casino late last week to meet Archie and Rissie’s new teacher and to visit their new school.   They are now enrolled at the North East Public School of Distance Education.   I initially had visions of doing 3 months’ work in the 2 weeks of their school holidays but after receiving their first 5 weeks’ worth of work and experiencing the phenomenon of my eyes glazing over whilst I tried to work out whose backpack their school work would go in to and subsequently who then would go without clothes, I almost automatically dumped the idea of zipping ahead 3 months.   It has often been said that I can be an idiot.


Anyway, I think my eyes were still glazed over and I was still in la-la land when we were half way up the range and Rissie told me she was being sick.  Now if it was me, I would have my head out the window and no-one would have known I was being sick.  If it was Archie he would have told me 5 minutes ago that he was going to be sick and he would have a bucket and a chux and there would be no need to stop.  Rissie on the other hand just throws up. Finding a place to pull over on the highway whilst going up the range is difficult enough without biting back the impulse to freak out because we were in someone else’s car.   We are currently driving my mum’s car and I had no desire to leave a pool of vomit in her car.  Vomit is like cat’s piss – the gift that just keeps on giving.


Luckily Rissie had just thrown up on herself.  She had clamped her little legs together and it pooled in her lap.  She is a scrawny little thing so I was able to lift her out of the car and then was able to attempt to clean her up.  Which of course made me start throwing up.  Vomit makes me vomit.  Then, because I was throwing up, Rissie started to cry because she had made me vomit.   Vomit in our house creates this god awful domino effect.   At moments like those I always feel like tracking down those people who tell you so nobly “It doesn’t smell when it is your own child”, feeding their children up with a great big bucket of KFC and lots of Creaming Soda, then taking them up on a rollercoaster and seeing what they do when their kids throw up all over them.  Doesn’t smell when it is your own child.  God we are fed a load of crap as parents.


As much as I hate vomit I love Apple Pie and Crumble.  I made this yesterday as I was craving Apple Pie but then I also wanted a crumble topping.  This crumble topping is like the crack cocaine of Apple Crumble toppings.   Initially when I took it out of the oven I was impatient and cut a piece whilst hot.  I thought the filling was too runny and was going to have to remake the cake with a new filling recipe, but after eating half the pie I realised that it was pretty bloody good and just should have waited for a few hours before I had a piece.  I also might not have had pie for lunch and dinner that way.


Pie is good.


Apple & Raspberry Crumble

* Before you begin anything, place the olive oil in a plastic container and put it in the freezer.  Freeze until it is congealed.

* Put the flour and the water in the freezer as well.

* When I make pastry I use my kitchen whiz.  A lot of people use their fingers to rub the “shortening” element in but I find the whiz quick and easy and everything stays cool.


For Olive Oil Pastry

2 cups chilled plain flour

2/3 cups Olive oil – partially frozen – see above

Have up to 1/2 cup chilled iced water

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

In your kitchen whiz place the flour and whiz in olive oil until mixture resembles bread crumbs.  Add Apple Cider Vinegar and continue to pulse the whiz.   Add water one tablespoon at a time until mixture forms a ball.  Divide the dough into two, wrap in cling wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Whilst your pastry sits, make your crumble topping.


Crumble Topping

3 Granny Smith Apples – peeled, cored and diced.  Dice the apples smaller for the topping than for the muffins.

1 ½ Teaspoon Cinnamon

190 grams Walnuts – whizzed into crumb

80 grams Cashews – whizzed into crumbs/

150 gram Demera sugar

1.5 Tablespoon Maple Sugar

For the topping mix all ingredients together and set aside for when the pie is made.

Once your topping is done you can do the pastry for the pie shell.  Roll out and place in pie dish.  Price with a skewer, cover with baking paper and fill with rice, beans or baking beads and bake for 15 minutes on 200 degrees.  Remove the baking paper and whatever you used to blind bake and then blind bake or a further 15 minutes.


Pie Filling

3 Granny Smith Apples – peeled, cored and sliced.

1 Tablespoon Corn Flour

2 tablespoons lemon juice.

200 gram frozen raspberries

¾ cup caster sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Mix all the ingredients together and set aside.


Finishing the Pie

Fill the baked shell with the Pie Filling and then top with the Crumble topping.

Bake for 45 minutes or until golden brown – approximately 180 degrees Celsius.

To allow filling to set make sure you allow your pie to sit for 2 hours or so before serving.

Or if you can wait leave it for the next day when pies are probably at their best!

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