It’s getting dark earlier in the evening, the breeze has a chilly bite and the mornings are turning crisp. The kids are back at school and life is going back to normal after the holidays. The summer is coming to an end and we’ve had such incredible weather. It’s hard to imagine that we’ll soon be digging out our boots, hats and scarves and trudging about in wet and windy weather.

At this time of year my mind wanders to flavours of autumn. I think of apples, cinnamon and hearty oats. These flavours may be more subtle than the bright berries of summer but they have an important role; they are warming and familiar and, as the nights draw in and the fires are lit, they fill me with a sense of comfort. In case you can’t tell, autumn is my favourite time of year.

I love the changing colours of the landscape, the trees turning red and gold, and the new flavours coming into season. As much as I love strawberries, there are only so many you can eat without yearning for something different.

It’s been really tough to pick a recipe for this month. I wanted something that was a bit easier to put together than last month’s showpiece. It also needed to be something that would be great tucked into a school lunchbox or enjoyed in the afternoon with a cup of tea and with our favourite autumnal flavours. Not too much of a challenge!

I finally settled on this Apple Crumble Slice. These are pretty easy to put together and are packed full of apples, oats, brown sugar and cinnamon. I think something magical happens when apples and cinnamon combine; the flavours are made for each other. These buttery, crumbly slices are the perfect mix of autumn comfort food and they taste amazing. Sturdy enough to be packed into a lunchbox for you or the kids, tasty enough to serve to guests and irresistible with a hot cup of tea; these are a great all rounder.  Let me know what you think!

Apple Crumble Slice

Serves 12 (depending on how you slice them).


For the crust:

380g plain flour

160g brown sugar

2tsp cinnamon

1/4tsp salt

1 egg

225g butter, cubed

50g oats

For the apple filling

4 medium Granny Smith apples

1tsp cinnamon

2tsp corn flour

Juice of half a lemon


1. Preheat the oven to 180C, line a rectangular tin (9”x13” or 23x33cm) with baking paper making sure it comes up the sides a bit (this will help get everything out later).

2. Peel the apples and, using a standard box grater, grate them into a bowl and stir in the lemon juice. Set aside.

3. Mix the plain flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt together in a bowl. Add the butter and, using your hands, rub into the flour mixture until it resembles breadcrumbs.  This can be a bit messy but it helps if the butter is cold. Add the egg and stir in with a table knife until combined and the dough comes together slightly.

4. Put half the dough into the bottom of the prepared tin and press down firmly with your fingers. Try to get it in an even layer.

5. Squeeze and drain the excess liquid from the apples and then add the cinnamon and corn flour and stir until combined. Scatter the apple evenly over the base.

6. Stir the oats into the remaining dough and crumble it all over the apples. It doesn’t matter if there are some lumps as this adds to the textures.

9. Bake for 30-40 minutes until golden brown on top and your kitchen smells like autumn. Allow to cool in the tin and cut into 12 squares when completely cold. Enjoy with a cup of tea or for pudding with some custard!


Linds Hall runs Pixie Hall Cakes in Fakenham and can be found selling her delicious baking at Fakenham Farmers’ Market on the 4th Saturday of each month.

Photographs by Keith Osborn Photography

1st January 1970

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