Mixed Berry-Apple-Ginger Crumble
The apples in my fridge were looking like those creepy apple-head doll craft projects, but tossing them into yet another pie seemed awfully pedestrian.
See what I did there? “Think Different” is the grammatically incorrect yet powerful marketing slogan adopted by Apple Computers in 1997, then subsequently trademarked by the company in 2009.
Speaking of Apple, how exactly did the multinational technology company end up being named after a simple fruit? According to the Steve Jobs biography, Jobs was on one of his “fruitarian diets” when he returned from an apple farm and suggested Apple as a name that sounded “fun, spirited and not intimidating.” Apple’s co-founder Steve Wozniak says they did consider other more techy-sounding names — like Executex and Matrix Electronics — but in the end, both agreed Apple was the right fit. “Apple was so much better, better than any other name we could think of,” he said.
To be true, that wasn’t Wozniak’s initial response. When Steve J. suggested Apple as a name, Steve W.’s immediate comeback was: “What about Apple Records?”
Good question. And one that Apple Corps, the record label started by the Beatles in 1968, eventually got around to asking. Much litigation ensued, starting with a lawsuit filed in 1978 and several more suits filed and settled between 1989 and 2006. The base issue for most of the legal action was an original promise by Apple Computers not to be involved in the music business. Hello, iTunes!
In the spirit of comparing apples to, um, apples, it seems relevant to mention the “moron in a hurry” legal argument, first used in 1978 by a British judge settling a trademark dispute between two rival newspapers. Apple Computer’s lawyers cited it during the final 2006 lawsuit, arguing that even “a moron in a hurry could not be mistaken about” the difference between iTunes and the Apple record label.
The apple sure has legend and lore to live up to.
There’s the Big Apple. (The much-loved nickname for New York City was coined in the ’20s by New York sports columnist John J. Fitz Gerald as a horse-racing reference.) Being apple-cheeked is a sign of good health. There are Halloween apples, bad apples, road apples and candy apples and you certainly don’t want to get any of those mixed up.
And of course, there’s the ultimate story of temptation and the forbidden fruit, with Adam, Eve, the Garden of Eden and the most famous apple of them all.
Which in all likelihood was not an apple.
Here’s the long and short of that story: Satan, disguised as a serpent, convinces Eve to have a nibble from the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, which God had expressly directed the happy couple not to eat. But was it an apple tree?
According to a website called Answers in Genesis, the apple assumption might stem (sorry!) from the fact that the Latin word for “evil” (mălum) is similar to the Latin word for apple (mālum). Ah ha.
Compounding matters, it seems that up until the 17th century, the term “apple” was used to describe all kinds of fruit, except berries but including nuts. Even the phrase “An apple a day keeps the doctor away” wasn’t an endorsement of apples. It was yet another way of saying eat your fruits and vegetables. And nuts.
Speaking of nuts, I found a neat little recipe for apple-berry-ginger crumble from the Australian taste.com website. I know, a crumble is not that far off from pie, but this recipe had all kinds of things going for it — almonds, ginger and even an orange.
Reminds me of that old knock-knock joke.
Orange you glad I didn’t say apple?
Kitchen Castoff Used
Apples. Officially, there are no more apples left in the house.
This is how we did it
- 4 apples, peeled, cored, coarsely chopped
- 1 orange, including finely grated rind and the juice
- 1 tbsp fine-grind (caster) sugar (I just ground mine up with a mortar and pestle)
- 1 tsp finely grated ginger
- ¼ cup water
- 1 cup frozen mixed berries
For the crumble
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1/4 cup butter, chopped
- 3/4 cup rolled oats
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup flaked almonds
- 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
Preheat oven to 35o degrees.
In a medium saucepan, cook the apple, orange rind and juice, sugar, ginger and water at medium heat for 15-20 minutes or until the apple begins to colour and is tender. Add the berries, stir to combine and remove from heat. (Mine was a bit too liquidy at this point, so I made a slurry of cornstarch and water, stirred it in at medium heat and cooked for an extra few minutes to thicken it up.)
To make the crumble, place the flour in a medium bowl then cut in the butter with a pastry cutter, two knives or your fingertips until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the oats, sugar, almonds and cinnamon and mix together.
Spoon the apple mixture evenly among four 1½-cup capacity ovenproof dishes. Sprinkle the crumble over the topping. Place dishes on an oven tray and bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown and heated through.
Curious about my “Kitchen Castoffs” concept? Here’s the explainer describing my 100-day project.
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