This October, with the leaves falling from the trees we made our way over to my parent’s house out in the country for a spot of foraging! The cold weather creeping in had made us both hungry for some warming winter pudding. I don’t know what your favourite winter dessert is, but for me it’s got to be a crumble.
On this particular morning, the Cornish countryside was looking decidedly miserable. Luckily, we had both bought a pair of Muck Boot Company Welly Boots and were well prepared for anything mother nature could throw at us. It had been raining for a lot of the morning and the ground and grass was pretty sodden.
Starting off we headed to my parent’s garden, where they have three apple trees which had the plumpest looking apples – just ready for picking! With a bag full of juicy cooking apples, we left the garden and headed to a nearby field. It seemed mean to leave my parent’s dog, a very bouncy Springer named Rufus, stuck inside on such a soggy day so we brought him along for the journey.
We had both bought slightly different boots. I had gone for a masculine pair of black Muck Boots called Men’s Arctic Excursion, whereas my girlfriend had gone for a more feminine pair of light blue checked Women’s Breezy Tall Insulated Rain Boots.
I really liked how both boots, although different, had exceptional build quality and some very good traits in common. They are both 100% waterproof and will not let a drop of water in. They are also both lined which keeps them very warm and comfortable. The soles of the boots have been fantastically designed to maximise traction and grip. Even on wet or slippy ground they stand still and don’t slide.
The Breezy Tall have a 3mm neoprene liner, whereas the Artctic Excursion (as the name might suggest) have even more insulation with a 5mm flex foam and fleece lining which makes them warm and toasty even down to freezing temperatures.
Rufus was having a whale of a time and ran around the hedgerows delighted. He was, as usual, obsessed with sniffing out whatever creatures might have been in the area recently. Being great at sniffing but terrible at picking blackberries, we were having to do all the work. With no help from the dog we sought out the best looking blackberries high and low. They were all over the place and in great numbers so it didn’t take long to get a good stash.
I love the Men’s Arctic Excursion, they’ve clearly been developed by people who know their stuff and they fix every frustration I’ve ever had with a pair of welly boots. The lining makes getting your feet in and out of the boots a piece of cake. To further aid you, and keep you from getting your hands muddy, there is a pull loop on the top of the boot. One of the smartest pieces of design on the boot is a wedge shaped piece of rubber at the back of the boot, just above the heel. It took me a while to work out why this was there and then I realised it was for you to stand on when removing the boot and allow you to get out of the boots almost hands free.
The boots had coped fantastically with the wet ground and my feet were super warm. I had a pair of Bonsai Socks on inside my boots and with the combined warmth of the boot and the socks, my feet were snug as a bug! On the front of the Arctic Excursions there is a laced section which allows you to tighten them slightly, giving the boots a more substantial feel and a stylish look.
We had filled our bowl with blackberries and had more than enough to make our crumble. Rufus however had not had his fill of running through the long wet grass and jumping in puddles, so we continued our walk and let him get really grubby. When he was suitably dirty, we walked him back to my parents, popped him into the kitchen (leaving them to wash him off), said our goodbyes and made our way back home to bake the crumble!
Ingredients for the fruit
- 1kg of Apples – peeled, cored and sliced
- 50g Castor sugar
- Blackberries to your own preference
Ingredients for the Crumble
- 100g Castor sugar
- 200g Plain flour
- 100g Butter
Step 1 – Arrange the peeled, cored and sliced apples in a well greased ovenproof dish. Mix in your blackberries and sprinkle over the 50g of sugar.
Step 2 – To make the crumble topping, sift the flour & sugar into a food processor.
Step 3 – Blend the contents of the food processor until it looks like fine breadcrumbs.
Step 4 – Spoon the crumble over the apple slices until completely covered.
Step 5 – Put into a preheated oven at 180 and bake for 40 minutes or until the topping is crisp and golden.
Step 6 – Get in front of a log fire, serve the crumble up with some cream, custard or ice cream and pig out!