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Apple Cumble with Hazelnuts and Caramel Custard


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Rate this recipe 4.4/5 (10 Votes)


  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 4 1/2 lb (2.5kg) baking apples
  • 1 1/3 cups (300g) superfine sugar
  • 3 1/2 tbsp (50ml) unsalted butter
  • 1 -2 spent vanilla beans, i.e. with their seeds scraped out (optional)
  • 3/4 cup (100g) all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup (50g) granulated sugar
  • pinch of ground cinnamon
  • 3 1/2 tbsp (50ml) unsalted cold butter, diced
  • 1/3 cup (50g) toasted hazelnuts, lightly crushed
  • Serve with Caramel Custard warmed Recipe is in the Directions


Servings 4


Step 1

First, prepare the apple compote. Add the lemon juice to a large bowl of cold water. Working with one at a time, peel, core, and chop the apples and immediately immerse in the bowl of lemon water to prevent them from discoloring. Drain well and pat dry with paper towels.

Put the chopped apples in a wide pan with the sugar, butter, and vanilla bean(s) if using. Cook over medium-low heat for 15 to 20 minutes until the apples are just soft, but still just holding their shape. Remove the vanilla bean(s).
Spoon the apple compote into a shallow ovenproof dish, about 9 inches (23cm) in diameter, and let cool completely.
For the crumble, put the flour, sugar, cinnamon, and butter into a food processor and pulse for a few seconds until the mixture resembles fine bread crumbs. Alternatively, rub the butter into the dry mixture with your fingers. Stir in the crushed hazelnuts, then spread a layer of crumble over the apple filling. Chill until ready to cook.

Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Stand the dish on a baking sheet and bake for about 20 to 25 minutes until golden brown and crisp on top. Spoon into individual bowls and serve with warm caramel custard.

Caramel Custard
3/4 cup (165g) superfine sugar
2/3 cup (150ml) whipping cream
generous 1 1/2 cups (375ml) whole milk
1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped (optional)
1 cup (25g) cornstarch
4 large egg yolks

Heat a heavy pan until it is very hot. Gradually add 1/2 cup (1OOg) of the sugar, a little at a time, so that it melts immediately on contact with the hot pan. As the sugar melts and caramelizes, tilt the pan to swirl and mix the caramel. When the caramel turns a dark terracotta color, pour in generous 1/3 cup (75ml) of the cream, protecting your hand from the steam with an oven mitt. Tilt the pan again to mix the cream with the caramel. Remove from the heat and pour through a fine strainer into a wide bowl. Let cool completely.

Put the milk, and vanilla seeds if using, into a pan and slowly bring to a simmer. Meanwhile, mix the remaining 1/4 cup (65g) sugar and the cornstarch together in a large bowl. Add the egg yolks and beat to a smooth paste, then stir in the remaining 1/4 cup (50ml) cream. Just as the milk begins to bubble up the sides of the pan, take off the heat and slowly pour it onto the egg yolk mixture, stirring continuously. Strain the mixture through a fine strainer into a clean pan and stir over low heat until thickened. Increase the heat and bring to a boil, stirring all the while. Simmer, stirring, for 4 to 5 minutes to cook out the cornstarch.

Pass the custard through a fine strainer into a bowl and cover the surface with plastic wrap to prevent a skin from forming. Let cool completely. Once cooled, mix the caramel into the custard, using a hand-held stick blender, until smooth.

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