Heston’s Perfect Roast Chicken recipe deserves the perfect dessert to follow it – Apple Crumble with Custard.
Heston’s Perfect Roast Chicken recipe was an absolute train-wreck: loads of long, complicated and unnecessary steps. The result was worse in most ways to cooking a bird the normal way for Sunday lunch.
Thankfully dessert was much more successful. We picked Heston’s Apple and Sultana Crumble recipe as it seemed like the perfect dish to follow a traditional Sunday lunch.
Special Equipment: None
Special Ingredients: Vanilla pods, gingerbread
Time: About 1 hour
Cost: Under £5
- 70g Unrefined caster Sugar
- 110g Unsalted Butter
- 50g Ground Almonds
- 90g Plain Flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 vanilla pod
- 6 Braeburn apples
- 150g Unsalted Butter
- 100g raisins
- 2 vanilla pods
- 200ml whole milk
- 200ml double cream
- 4 egg yolks
- 100g unrefined caster sugar
- Melt the butter
- Combine all the crumble ingredients until reduced to crumbs
- Lay baking parchment on a tray. Spread mixture evenly across tray
- Bake at 180C for 15 – 30 minutes or until golden, turning regularly
- Halve the vanilla pod and scrape out the seeds
- Peel and core the apples then cut into small cubes
- melt butter in pan and cook apples for 2 minutes
- Add cinnamon and raisins, cook for 3 more minutes
- Place compote in an ovenproof dish, cover with the crumble topping and bake for 10 – 15 minutes
- Scrape the seeds from the vanilla pod
- Whisk the egg yolks and sugar together until light and creamy
- Heat milk and cream in a pan until simmering
- Pour cream mixture onto eggs and beat to combine
- Return mixture to the pan and heat until thickened (approximately 75C)
Heston’s Apple Crumble and Custard recipe takes the novel approach of dividing the dish into 2 steps. The crumble topping and apple compote are made separately then assembled at the end. Custard is surprisingly conventional.
Step 1: Making the Crumble
First mix together flour, ground almonds, sugar, salt and the gingerbread. As you can see we went for a fairly conventional source of gingerbread. We did remove the smarties before mixing, but the eyes and smile stayed in as a surprise treat.
Then melt some butter…
… and add to the dry mixture. You’re meant to do this in a food processor to produce crumbs. We thought it’d be fine to mix by hand. Our result was more of a paste, but left to dry on a baking sheet for ten minutes then broken up by hand it looked fine.
This now needs to be baked for about 15 minutes, then reserved to top your cooked apples with.
Step 2: Cooking the Apples & Sultanas
No prizes for guessing the first step here: peeling, coring and dicing the apples.
These are cooked for a few minutes in a pan of butter (as always with Heston, more butter than you’d deem necessary) before adding the sultanas, along with the seeds from one vanilla pod and a pinch of cinnamon.
Cook together for another few minutes, then finish off by baking your fruit mixture in the oven for 20 minutes.
After this it’s ready to be topped with the crumble you made earlier. And there’s your finished dessert.
Step 3: Custard
Well, nearly finished. Of course you’ll need custard to go with it.
Heat some cream, milk and vanilla seeds until simmering…
… then whisk some egg yolks and sugar. Pour the first onto the second…
…and return to the pan, cooking until it coats the back of a spoon.
Not pictured: We really like the whole aerating thing at the moment, so we gave the custard the hand blender treatment to foam it full of bubbles. Yeah, it’s cheesy but it’s also a great trick and gives your custard a supremely velvety mouthfeel. Just remember to hold the hand blender slightly out of the liquid so it can drag in air to create the bubbles.
This is a very refined, mature kind of apple crumble, with a curiously al-dente texture to the baked apples. Maybe we ought to have cooked them a bit longer in the pan, as the cubes not only retained all of their shape but perhaps a bit too much of their bite.
We might’ve overdone the crumble slightly, but it had a fantastic crunchy texture that most apple crumble recipes lack. We had half the crumble topping left over. It freezes very well for future use.
There’s enough twists on a standard apple crumble recipe to make this recipe worth trying out.
This was a great dish, but for personal preferences we’d do the following:
- Add some crushed whole almonds to the crumble for even more texture
- Cook the apples with less butter
- Cook the apples for longer for a softer texture
If you’ve tried this recipe yourself, or have a favourite crumble recipe that you’d always swear by then please tell us about it in the comments section.