Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Apple Crumble - Fixing or Fixed?

What's better than talking about Apple while everyone's watching the live broadcasting of Apple's alleged iPhone 4gs/5 release event? :D

 Given the wide variety of desserts available in Hong Kong, there is a tendency among we dessert lovers to stick to one particular type, let it be chocolate fondue, mango in sago soup, or etc.

And my personal favourite? Apple crumble, of course - it's my secret guilty pleasure, my motivation and momentum when i feel down and drained. A spoonful of a nicely baked warm apple crumble is the best antidote, I'd say. Nothing's more comforting than that ever.

What makes a good apple crumble? It really depends - theres no 1+1=2 equation as to what makes the BEST apple crumble. But in my personal view, a GOOD apple crumble ought to be something like THIS:
Apple filling - Using a blend of green and red apple, nicely diced into the size of a segment of your little finger, seasoned with a generous pour of yellow sugar and of course, cinnamon; mixed with raisins and nuts, cooked until soft but not soggy, a little chewiness and crispiness has to be retained.

Crumble - nicely buttered and rubbed with a little salt to wash away the off smell of fat, crumbled into the size of 'sand-cluster' like texture; has to be dried instead of soggy; and it doesnt have to be very sweet. It's the butteriness and crispiness that I am looking for in a good crumble. And oh yes, a handful of rolled oats would help improve the crispness and driness of the crumble, this I personally have tried.

Pie crust - again, flaky but not too dry, MUST NOT BE SOGGY; nicely buttered, not too hard, not too fragile.

Vanilla sauce - a MUST for a proper apple crumble, vanilla ice cream can almost do the job if only nice home-made ice creams of HG is to be used. The sauce/ice cream must not be too runny not too thick. Sights of vanilla seeds would be a bonus.

So far I have been eating around Hong Kong for my favourite apple crumble: ordinary local dessert stores I have been to, 5-star hotels I have been to, restaurants, cafes, etc, I have been to. Funny enough, the best I have tasted so far happened to be VERY near my place - I could reach there within 5 minutes, if I were in a rush for an 'apple crumble fix' in emergencies.
So yeah here comes my little list of Apple Crumble Fix in Hong Kong - while some were capable of 'fixing' me, some ought to be 'fixed', and the little number over 10 denotes my score for it.

BTW, the list is not meant to be conclusive, I might just add another crumble review after trying something new in the future!

1. The Lounge, JW Marriott

...the apple crumble were cold cus they taste way better than served warm or even hot.  but the crumbles was alright, and was very crispy ; the apple fillings had enlarged in size and irregularity, and they were just of the right sweetness.  It went extremely well with the scoops of HD ice creams!

Fixing or ought-to-be-fixed?  - Fixing, 7/10

2. Starbucks (discontinued)






Fixing or ought-to-be-fixed?  - Fixing, 9/10 

3. 五代同糖

Objectively speaking, the thing tasted good - the crumble was hot and were light and crunchy. They used the big and crumble variety instead of the fine and sandy ones u usually find in bigger hotels-and i prefer this way here.  

The apple compote was a little scary on appearance (it could be served as a Halloween special dessert) as it was almost pinkish in colour, and looked inedible. It was slightly sour when tasted as the store has given a local twist to the traditional English dessert by replacing the cinnamon and brown sugar with strawberry sauce - an attempt to make it lighter to eat and less spicy to taste. A nice and clever twist i must say, as the dessert has become less of a source of guilt - it sounded quite healthy indeed, with all the fruits and stuff.

In short - this is something different from the traditional apple crumble, but is as tasty i must say. As the title of this review goes, the inadequacy in the temperature had ruined everything, and I am sure that it would among one of the tastiest desserts i have tried. Had it only been hotter (hot to the extent that smoke comes out from the compote would be something i am after), it would be wonderful.

Fixing or ought-to-be-fixed?  - Fixed, 4/10 

4. The Lounge, Four Seasons Hotel

 The Black Cherry and Almond Crumble surprised me. Not being a fan of cherries, the crumble was extremely tasty nonetheless. With the whole cherries cooked in syrup in the base and large crumbles and crushed almonds on the top, the dessert had two contrasting yet nicely balanced texture and flavour. The cherries were soft and the crumbles were VERY fresh and crunchy. It tasted good of maple syrup and yellow sugar and i love their coarseness. 

Fixing or ought-to-be-fixed?  - Fixing, 9.5/10 

5. Green, Hotel ICON

是日吃到的卻有著先天缺陷,因為是賣淨的,自然不會是新鮮貨,因此crumble和批皮已經吸濕變軟能夠理解.但蘋果餡不算煮得稔和很入味,肉桂味也可以再加重一點點.不過不以vanilla sauce或ice cream拌碟,就更令這個本來已經乾掉一半的crumble更加乾.這個apple crumble,水準在平均之下.

Fixing or ought-to-be-fixed?  - Fixed, 4/10 

6. 常嚐甜品

This one was good enough. I really like how the crumbles were nicely rubbed, big enough in size and very, very crunchy as it was freshly baked. The apple filling was a little disappointing however as it was really watery. Too much 'sauce' for a proper filling I think, but I later learnt that we could request for something less wet - it would then be much better and the sweetness could be more concentrated instead of diluted like how it was when i tried. The bits of apples were also unevenly cubbed, some were really big and some were tiny - some consistency should have been better attained to.

Fixing or ought-to-be-fixed?  - Fixing, 6.5/10 

7. The Market, Hotel ICON

The apple crumble also came with some slices of really nicely caramelized bananas, which tasted and textured in a similar way to the surface of creme brulee. It was delicious! Even the scope of ice-cream was nice too as It was obvious that it was no cheap frill - not from dairy farm, that's my guess.

Fixing or ought-to-be-fixed?  - Fixed, 5/10 

8. The Steak House Winebar + Grill 

經典的APPLE CRUMBLE,這裡以鐵盤盛載,可以鎖住熱力,吃的時候還在冒煙.頂層的脆脆帶濃濃酥香,也不太 膩,非常討好.蘋果蓉味道清香,但實在煮得過爛,蘋果的爽脆口感盡失,有吃糊仔的感覺.如果果肉能夠切成大片,或用幾種蘋果品種,有的煮蓉取其味濃,有的 快煮取其爽脆,口感也許會更豐富.但食友也講得對,也許他們故意用軟綿質感去突出金寶的香脆,正如他們可能以偏酸的蘋果餡去平衡極甜膩的焦糖醬,增加層次 感.但最好的’層次’還是一熱一凍的冰火口感,雲尼拿雪糕和蘋果金寶才是絕配.

Fixing or ought-to-be-fixed?  - Fixing, 5.5/10

9. 糖痴豆 (and my personal favourite!)

i had to wait for at least 15 minutes for it because it was freshly baked. sitting next to the open kitchen and witnessing bowls and bowls of cold desserts being made and served to other tables, i had to say that the 15 minutes-wait was more torturing than ever! As the apple crumble finally came, the aroma smelt so nice and i did not hesitate to take a spoonful to try.

the crumbs on top of the spiced apple cubes were crispy and added variety to its texture, which blended well with the apple flesh, baked until a little soft on the edge; there were also nuts and raisins within the fillings, but it was not too sweet on a whole. the 'cookie' pastry was nicely baked-matter of fact i thought it was better than that from 'tai cheung'! smile it was excellent, and i could not stop eating. the fruits were freshly cut and were no doubt more healthy than a scoop of vanilla ice cream! to conclude-the apple crumble was excellent, and i would go again!

Fixing or ought-to-be-fixed?  - Fixing, 9.5/10 about you guys out there? What's your favourite dessert fix?

1 comment:

  1. Bravo! a very comprehensive record!! I personally is a fan of apple crumble too. Your article sure provides some inspiration!


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