Feeding the family (with Apple Crumble and Custard)

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This is getting close to being the way I will keep making Apple crumble. The filling comes from Orangette’s blog, and is her interpretation of Nigel Slater’s apple crumble recipe. It is very yummy and smells very good as the apple pieces goldenise. The topping is slightly adapted from Shauna Niequist’s version of her mother’s Blueberry Crisp Recipe … but just the ‘crisp’ part. I own her book Bread & Wine, and that is where it came from. I have recently decided that desserts can be deeply nourishing, especially when they involve fruit. If you ask my mum, this realisation been a very long time coming because I spent most of my childhood happily eating ice cream on special occasions but consistently refusing cooked fruit desserts in pretty much every form. But now I would like to think that I am somewhat older and wiser. I am really enjoying cooking heart warming things like apple crumble and custard for friends and family and watching faces light up when you announce what it is you have cooked. It makes me feel happy inside. And so, here it is. A little bit of happiness in a bowl for you and your family.

Ingredients:
For the filling
6-8 medium green apples (and pears if you like, approximately 1.4-5 kg)
Juice of a lemon
1/3 + an extra half 1/3 cup measure (100 grams) sugar
3-4 Tbsp. (45-50 grams) unsalted butter

For the topping
1 ½ cups rolled Oats
¾ cup raw unsalted almonds (roughly chopped, other nuts work well too)
¾ cup almond meal
1/3 cup coarsely ground linseed meal
1/3 cup brown sugar (or maple syrup)
1/3 cup olive oil
¾ teaspoon salt

For the Custard
1.2 lts milk
4 eggs
50g cornflour
120g caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla

Method:
1. Preheat the oven to 175°C.
2. Peel and core the apples, cut them into rough 1-inch chunks, and toss them in a large mixing bowl with the juice of the lemon and the sugar.
3. Warm a frying pan over a highish heat. Add the butter, melt it and when it stops foaming, add the apples and their juices. Gently stir the apples so they are in a single layer if possible and let them simmer away for a little while. The apple juices combined with the butter, sugar and lemon will make a syrup that coats the apple pieces. Keep cooking them till they turn golden in patches.
4. Pour the apples and any of the syrupy caramel juices out of the frying pan into the baking dish. The left over syrup in the pan can be deglazed with some lemon juice or water and the pan juices poured over the apple pieces. Yum!
5. To make the topping, mix all ingredients together in a bowl. Distribute the topping evenly over the apples.
6. Bake for approximately 35-40 minutes, or until crisp and golden. Serve warm or at room temperature.
7. Make custard while the apples cook; heat the milk a saucepan – it shouldn’t boil, the surface should just tremor gently.
8. All the other ingredients (except vanilla) need to be whisked together in a small bowl. Pour into the milk and stir with a wooden spoon till custard has thickened and coats the back of the spoon. Add vanilla and serve with apple crumble.
9. Enjoy the warm happy glow of family combined with hot apple crumble and custard in a bowl!

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