What better on a cold, wet, stormy night that closing the curtains and pottering round a warm and cosy kitchen? Not a lot really, I love to spend time cooking when I can hear the rain drops on my window.
While out shopping yesterday I came across some lovely organic apples and blackberries which I’d normally just eat as they are with the possible addition of a little Greek yogurt. Given the weather I wanted something a little more warming though – it had to be a crumble.
I fried the apple slices in a little butter and sugar (to which I’d added a cinnamon stick and two star anise) until tinged with gold. The spices really added an extra warmth to the finished dish, a warmth that radiated from within not just from the temperature of the crumble, a tongue tingling warmth; delicious! The blackberries weren’t pre-cooked, I just tipped them into the still warm apples and stirred them round to release some of their deep purple juice.
The fruit was then left to cool before being blanketed with an oat based crumble top and baked in a hot oven for 30 minutes. The oats are for me anyway an essential element of a crumble, they add both chewiness and crunch.
There is a school of thought that hot puddings should be served with a cold accompaniment such as double cream or ice cream and vice versa. Some-days I subscribe to it, this was not going to be one of those days. I wanted custard, proper vanilla scented, thick, piping hot custard, nothing else would suffice.
Should I have been in the mood for a cold accompaniment, creme fraiche would have been the most suitable option, the slight sourness would offset the sweet fruit and tantalise the taste buds.
So to gratify my craving, I made custard an easy 'proper style' custard. I have to say it was the easiest custard I’ve ever made, no worry about scrambled eggs, split mixtures or it being too runny. Absolutely perfect.