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Fall into Apples – Apple Crumble with Custard

Fall has been a bit late in coming to New York this year. The humidity and higher temperatures of late summer seem to have stuck around for at least a month longer that usual. This is one of my favorite seasons. The biggest impact has been that my internal food clock has also been thrown off and the foods that I normally would indulge in haven’t been very appealing to me.That has all started to change in the past couple of weeks which means that I’ve started to tackle my seasonal recipe repertoire. One of the dishes that brings back great, warm memories of my time living in England (where winter-like weather can linger for months and months without ever really snowing), is Apple Crumble with Custard. Tart apples baked until soft and sweet covered with a cookie-cakey topping, drenched in creamy, rich custard. This is what got me through many a rainy weekend day in London.

From time to time, I also get a craving for it on this side of the Atlantic, but I’ve never replicated it. For one thing, Bramleys, THE British baking apple aren’t available here. For another, I always feel as though I can’t get the topping just right. When I made the fig tarts a few weeks ago, I had a little more than a cup of filling left over.

As I’d enjoyed its flavor, I decided to use the extra filling, with a few adjustments, as the crumble topping. It came out perfectly. With a recommendation on some great baking apples from a vendor at the Greenmarket, I was soon in business and on my way to making a nice, new memory for those cold, dreary days in my current home city.

 

Apple Crumble

Serves: 6-8
Prep time:
15 minutes plus 30 for baking

Ingredients:
5 Jonagold apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
Juice of 1/2 orange
1 teaspoon sugar
Leftover filling from fig tart recipe (see previous post)
3/4 cup whole wheat flour

Assembly:
Mix together filling and flour, using fork or pastry cutter to combine until mixture resembles thick paste or clay. Toss sliced apples with with orange juice and sugar and layer in baking dish. Top with filling mixture to cover apples entirely.

Put baking tray under dish to catch any run-off juices and place in 400 degree oven for 30 minutes. Remove when crust is golden brown. Let sit for 10 minutes before serving.

Custard

Serves: 3-4
Prep Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:
2 egg yolks (if using organic, the custard will be more yellow-colored)
2 teaspoons superfine sugar
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Assembly:
Beat together egg yolks and sugar until the sugar looks like it has dissolved a bit. Place bowl over a pan of simmering water and whisk together for 1-2 minutes more but do not let it turn into scrambled eggs. Begin to add cream a tablespoon at a time. Continue to whisk to combine.

Mixture will look as though it is still the consistency of the cream but will, after a few minutes, start to thicken. Do not allow water in pan underneath to get to a raging boil. It should continue to simmer to gently heat the custard and to thicken it gradually. Remove bowl with custard mixture from the top of the pan when it becomes very thick but it still liquidy.

Add vanilla extra and stir in thoroughly. Pour over apple crumble.

Yum, Apple Crumble with Custard

Buon appetito!