My passion for and great love affair with French patisseries is very well known by my family and friends. Though, it always surprises them how a little person like myself can consume so many macaroons and tarte tatins in one day. However what they don’t know about, is my secret love and adoration for the Great British pudding! I adore Apple and Rhubarb crumbles, Ginger syrupy sponge puddings, Eaton mess, Bakewell tarts, Lardy cakes, Victoria sponges, Carrot cakes, Trifles, Minced pies, Scones and perhaps my favourite of all, well in name as least, Fat Rascals! My list is much longer than this, but it would take me days to type them all out, so I will just put them here in my blog as I go along baking and eating them. British puddings for me are the ultimate comfort home food. Enjoyed most of all, on rainy winter days or in my case on any day! There is nothing else I love more than to snuggle on the sofa with a warm duvet, watch an old movie and enjoy the company of a Great British pudding, such as this warm and comforting Apple crumble. My lovely friend, Connie, gave me one of the most memorable presents in the world a few years ago: a gift to the Cotswold Pudding Club, where I enjoyed a night of eating all the best British puddings. Each pudding was presented in such grandeur, with a trumpet announcing each pudding’s entrance. It made me giggle none stop throughout the whole evening. Each pudding was paraded one by one and everyone had to rate each pudding after eating them. I had a terrible headache that evening from the amount of sugar I’d consumed – it almost induced a hyperglycaemic coma! But I must say it was worth the pain! If you ever want to enjoy the best British puddings then try and visit The Pudding Club. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did! In the meantime, please try this Apple crumble in the comfort of your home : )
An ovenproof dish, a sauce pan, a whisk, a wooden spoon and a bowl.
Ingredients Serves 4:
For the Apple Filling:
1. Approx. 550g Bramley apples, peeled, cored and sliced into small pieces
2. 1 tsp. vanilla extract or 1 vanilla pod
3. A pinch of cinnamon powder
4. 1 tbsp. of water
5. 60g light brown sugar
For the crumble:
6. 100g plain flour
7. 60g unsalted butter, cold and soft
8. Pinch of salt
9. 30g chopped hazelnuts
10. 50g golden caster sugar
11. 2 large eggs, yolks only
12. 1 tsp. vanilla extract or 1 vanilla pod
13. 250ml full fat milk
For the Apple Filling:
1. Combine all the ‘Apple Filling’ ingredients listed above and place in an oven-proof dish.
For the crumble:
2. Preheat the oven to 200ºC.
3. In a large bowl mix all the crumble ingredients listed above, except for the chopped hazelnuts. Rub flour, salt and butter until they start to look more like fine breadcrumbs. Then mix in the chopped hazelnuts for an added texture.
4. Add your crumble on top of your apple filling mixture and place in the oven for 40-45 minutes until the crumble has turned golden brown and crisp.
For the Crème Anglaise:
5. In a bowl cream the egg yolks and sugar together until pale and fluffy.
6. Meanwhile, in a large pan bring the milk and vanilla pods/extract to a boil. Gently simmer for -5 minutes. Then allow it to cool for 30 seconds.
7. Pour the milk mixture onto the eggs and sugar, whisking continuously until smooth, then gently pour the mixture into the saucepan. Place on a medium heat and stir continuously for 5 minutes, or until the mixture has slightly thickened. It is important to continuously stir and not allow the mixture to reach boiling point as it will split and you will end up having a scrambled egg rather than a crème anglais (this happened to many times for sure). Your mixture should have a single cream texture rather than a thick custard texture as it will thicken after chilling it in the fridge.
Serve the Apple crumble with a lovely smooth crème anglaise.
Your crumble should have that amazing dark golden brown in colour, if you’re afraid that your crumble is starting to look a bit burnt, as I was in some occasions you can cover it with a foil and continue baking it in the oven, before you take off though, remove the foil and place back on grill in the oven just for 1 minute or so to crisp it up.
I love Crème Anglaise and I can eat by itself anytime. It is important however to use very quality eggs when making this as it does makes a massive difference with both the taste and texture. When I first made this I got distracted and the mixture boiled for a a few seconds and it that short period of time my smooth Crème Anglaise turned into a scrambled egg. I had to start all over again. The second mistake I did was leaving it too long in the hob, trying to get it to have a thicker consistency again another disastrous experience it split. Attention and patience is definitely a must for this one! Do not leave it to boil not even slightly, and do not leave it on the hob for longer than 5 minutes as I have done. The Texture should not be thick, it has to be smooth and has that single cream like texture. Leave it to chill for at least 3 hours and your Crème Anglaise will thickened. You can enjoy it then and no more waiting required.