Apple Croustade cooking time 35 minutes
- Credit: Archant
Transport yourself to the South of France with this seasonal recipe
300ml whole milk
1 vanilla pod, split lengthways
2 large eggs, separated
50g caster sugar
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20g plain flour, plus extra for rolling the pastry
3 Bramley apples
2 tbsp butter
3 tbsp muscovado sugar
500g block all-butter puff pastry
3 tbsp granulated sugar
1. To make the custard layer, heat the milk with the vanilla pod in a saucepan until almost boiling, then turn off the heat and leave to infuse for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, line a 20cm round cake tin with clingfilm.
2. Whisk the egg yolks with the caster sugar, plain flour and cornflour until well blended. Discard the vanilla pod, then gradually whisk in the infused milk before transferring the mixture back into the milk pan. Stir the custard over a medium heat until it starts to boil, then beat vigorously to eliminate any lumps. Scrape the custard into the clingfilm-lined tin, then cover the top with a second sheet of clingfilm. Leave to cool, then chill in the fridge.
3. For the apple layer, peel and core the Bramleys, then cut them into eighths and thinly slice. Melt the butter and muscovado sugar in a sauté pan, then add the apples. Cook, uncovered, for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until most of the juice has been released. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the apples to a sieve, then leave to cool completely.
4. Preheat the oven to 200°C (180 fan) / gas 6. Cut the block of pastry in half. Roll out one piece and cut out a 30cm circle, using a bowl or cake tin as a guide. Transfer the pastry circle to a non-stick baking tray and brush round the edge with beaten egg white.
5. Remove the top piece of clingfilm from the set custard and invert it onto the pastry. Remove the tin and the other sheet of clingfilm. Arrange the cooled apple slices on top in an even layer.
6. Roll out the other half of the pastry and carefully lay it over the top. Gently mould it down the sides and press around the edge to seal. Use the 30cm tin or bowl as a guide to trim the edges. Brush the top of the pastry with beaten egg white and sprinkle generously with granulated sugar.
7. Bake the croustade for 35 minutes or until golden brown on top and cooked through underneath. Leave to cool a little before serving warm or at room temperature.
Find it in Hampshire
Bramley apples and apple trees
Selborne, 01420 476003
Winchester, 07977 933470
Romsey, 01794 513242
And to drink...
Champagne Pol Roger, Rich, Demi-Sec, £39.95
The sheer glory of fizz at the end of a meal is not to be underrated. The burst of acidity and vibrant bubbles is guaranteed to bring with it a new lease of life to your lunch or soirée. This demi-sec style from Pol Roger is gorgeous – its sweetness and zesty freshness balancing that of Susie’s apple croustade perfectly. With its echoing orchard fruit, biscuit layers and creamy complexity, this will prove a flawless partner for this delicious pudding.
2017 Berry Bros. & Rudd Sauternes by Ch. Climens (37.5cl), £14.95
Sauternes is superb with fruit-based puddings – it has enough freshness and honeyed complexity to balance that of any tart fruit encased in cream and/or pastry. Berry Bros. & Rudd own-label example comes courtesy of Château Climens, offering a fine and delicate expression of the style. Expect notes of honey, ripe orchard fruit and some more delicate florals, all of which will sit very happily alongside croustade aux pommes.
2012 Graacher Domprobst, Riesling Auslese #11, Willi Schaefer, Mosel (37.5cl), £23.95
No matter how lusciously sweet in style, Riesling always maintains its piercing line of acidity – feeling refreshing despite sometimes eyewatering sugar levels. This example has some bottle age yet feels wonderfully vibrant, offering layers of zesty citrus, a slate-like minerality, toffee apples, and more exotic fruit. Pinpoint in balance, its acidity will cut through the richness of the tart while the sweetness makes it more complementary than combative.
All the wines are available via Berry Bros. & Rudd
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