Wednesday, March 29, 2006

APPLE AND ALMOND CRUMBLE

We all love crumble but Delia's brilliant idea to add almonds turns this into a heavenly version. I made this apple crumble for Steve's birthday last week (we were on holiday) and we can't agree whether apple or rhubarb is better. Play safe, and make both.

Now please excuse me, as I saw a 'rhubarb' sign in our village grocer and am going to HAVE to get some and make this again now I'm reminded of it...

TOPPING
4 oz almonds, flaked or whole, gently crumbled
3 oz chilled butter, cut into small dice
6 oz self-raising flour, sifted
4 oz demerara sugar

FRUIT
3-4 Bramley Apples or equivalent amount of fresh Rhubarb
1dstsp caster sugar

Peel, core and chop fruit; arrange in a deep dish and sprinkle with sugar.

Rub the butter into the flour with your fingertips (or whiz in a processor if lazy like me) then stir in the almonds and sugar. If using rhubarb, you can also add some ground spices such as ginger and cinnamon (up to 1tsp each). Sprinkle the topping over the fruit and press lightly. Nobody cares if some of the apples poke out the top. It only adds to the charm.

Serve with CUSTARD! Beat 2 egg yolks with 1/2tbsp caster sugar in a bowl. Gently heat 200ml single cream with a vanilla pod (or 1/2 tsp vanilla extract). When warm, pour it over the yolks, beating constantly. Tip the whole lot back into the saucepan, and bring slowly to a simmer, whisking like mad, until it's thickened. (If it starts to split, apparently you should plunge the pan into cold water - but mine's never done this.) Allow to cool, whisking, for a minute before serving.