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St Josephs Primary School, Slate Street, Belfast
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P2 Bake off - Autumn learning & easy Apple Crumble

8th Oct 2019

Our P2 children have been learning about Autumn and the changes the season brings. This week we focused on some of the foods which ripen during the season such as pumpkin, butternut squash and apples. As our children eat apples daily we decided to have a cooking session using freshly ripened apples from the school apple trees and Mrs Glackin’s garden.

We learned that apples mature in late summer or Autumn after 100 to 200 days of growth, depending on the variety. Mature apples offer the best flavor and texture. While apples continue to ripen after picking, when harvested too soon the apples won't like reach the full potential for flavour. We follow these simple steps to make sure our apples are just right for picking -

  • Monitor the colour changes in the maturing apples. The fruit is ready to pick when it reaches full colour, which varies by apple variety. Look for a yellow rather than green background colour on apple varieties that aren't solid red at maturity. For yellow apple varieties, wait until the green colour begins turning yellow to harvest.
  • Feel the apples occasionally to monitor changes in texture. Apples that are ready to pick start to soften slightly while still retaining firmness. A waxy outer coating is another sign the apples are ready for picking.
  • Watch for healthy apples that begin dropping to the ground. While unhealthy or damaged apples may fall from the tree anytime, healthy apples typically only begin falling when the fruit is ripe.
  • Pull upward on an apple and twist to see how easily it comes off of the tree. Mature apples should pull off easily without much resistance.
  • Test one of the apples from the tree to test its ripeness. Cut into the apple to check for brown seeds instead of the white seeds that appear in immature apples. Look for flesh that is white instead of tinted green. Taste the apple to determine if its full flavor is present with the tartness of nearly ripe apples gone.

So now you know!

Now it's time for the fun part - Easy apple crumble


  • 3-4 Bramley cooking apples
  • 100g granulated sugar
  • 150g plain flour (also works well with gluten-free flour)
  • 75g salted butter, softened


  1. If you're planning to cook it straight after preparing, preheat the oven to 180C/350F/gas 4. If you want, however, you can make the crumble beforehand, and cook it later.
  2. First, you need to prepare the apples. Half fill a large saucepan with water, and peel, core and chop the apples into 1-2cm chunks. Place them in the saucepan to stop them from ruining.
  3. Drain all of the water from the saucepan, add another 2 tbsp of water and 50g of the sugar, and place on a medium heat on the hob. Stew until the apples become mushy. Once mushy, put the apples into an ovenproof dish.
  4. Place the flour and the remaining sugar in a mixing bowl. Add the butter and use your hands to mix everything together until the mixture resembles large breadcrumbs. Pour this evenly on top of the stewed apple.
  5. If you are making the crumble in advance, cover it with cling film and allow to cool to room temperature before placing in the fridge. When ready to cook, place the crumble in the preheated oven and bake for 30 minutes. Don't worry if the crumble doesn't looked cooked properly, it most likely is! Eat hot from the oven.