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Spiced baked apples with brown sugar custard

Spiced baked apples with brown sugar custard

This dish combines two dessert classics that bring comfort in winter months. More than a baked apple, it trespasses into the crumble category, borrowing also the crumble’s favourite topper, a rich custard. Keeping the skins on allows space in between the apples for the spiced juices to caramelise.


4 Braeburn apples, halved
60g / 2.1 oz salted butter
40g / 1.4 oz light brown soft sugar
zest of half a lemon
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp ground ginger
grating fresh nutmeg
50g / 1.8 oz wholemeal spelt flour
30g / 1.1 oz flaked almonds, chopped

For the custard
3 large egg yolks
50g / 1.8 oz light brown soft sugar
200ml / 7 fl oz whole milk
Vanilla pod, split

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  • Heat the oven to 180°C/ fan 160°C/ gas 4. Halve the apples around their middles and core them. Place them cut side up in an ovenproof dish.
  • In a bowl, mix the butter, sugar, lemon and spices - don’t add the flour yet. Spoon a few tablespoons of this into the centre of the apples where the core has been removed. Combine the rest of the sugar-butter with the flour, rubbing it’s between fingertips to make a crumble. Scatter on top then bake for 45 minutes or until the apples are tender.
  • Meanwhile, make the custard. Heat the milk and vanilla to just below a boil. Whisk the egg yolks and sugar together in a bowl then pour in the steaming milk, whisking all the while.
  • Pour the mixture back into a clean saucepan and heat very gently and slowly until the custard starts to thicken. When it thinly coats the back of a wooden spoon, it is ready.
  • Pour the custard on the apples to serve.
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