The Perfect Apple Crumble with Custard

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From The Guardian by Felicity Croake
Serves 4
Ingredients:
150gms plain flour, or 100gms plain flour, 50gms ground almonds
125gms chilled, unsalted butter, cut into cubes
35gms demerara sugar
35gms caster sugar, plus extra for the fruit as required
About 900gms fresh fruit, stoned or cored as necessary and cut into chunks – cooking apples should be softened in a pan
with a tablespoon of water and a little sugar first
Handful of porridge oats / chopped nuts (optional)
Method:
1. Pre-heat the oven to 200C. Combine the flour, ground almonds (if using), and butter in a food processor or large bowl, and pulse briefly, or rub with your fingertips, until the mixture resembles very coarse breadcrumbs with a few larger lumps. Add the sugars and stir through.
2. Sprinkle with a little cold water and rake through with a fork until you have a lumpy, crumbly mixture. Put this in
the freezer for 10 minutes, or if making ahead, in the fridge until you’re ready to bake.
3. Meanwhile, put your prepared fruit in a lightly greased, shallow baking dish, and sprinkle with sugar – taste it first
to see how much you think it needs. You can also add any spices at this point (½ tsp ground cinnamon or ginger, for
example, for apples or plums).
4. Arrange the crumble over the top of the fruit – don’t press it down – and sprinkle with oats or nuts if using. Bake for about half an hour, until golden and bubbling, and serve slightly cooled.

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La Femme:

I was so excited to find this recipe as the Chapeldown blancs de blancs tasting note, although dry, promised baked apple notes and biscuits – seemed the perfect match, which indeed it was if not for more than a little stress in the preparation of what was looking like the not-so-perfect crumble.  I must have weighed the ingredients incorrectly as the mixture seemed to be a very gooey mess – not crumbly at all – I decided to rescue it by gradually adding more flour and sugar in what I hoped were the correct proportions until the crumble effect was achieved.  The proof is in the pudding as they say – sprinkled with almonds it certainly looked the part and tasted quite delicious – phew!

Le Vin:

Blanc de Blancs, (Chardonnay), English Quality Sparkling Wine, Chapel Down, Kent, England, 2009, GBP27

 

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