Proper Sunday-lunch crumble with lashings of creamy custard
Ingredients (serves 2 large, 4 small portions)
For the crumble topping:
- 100g plain flour (white or wholemeal)
- 75g cold vegan butter (I used Pure)
- 50g oats
- 75g sugar (white or light brown)
- Pinch of salt
For the apple filling:
- 1 large bramley apple (~300-350g)
- 2 tbsp sugar (~10g)
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon (optional)
- Pinch of nutmeg (optional)
For the custard:
- 200ml non-dairy milk
- 50ml non-dairy cream (I used soy for both but oat milk/cream would also work very well)
- 25g sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract/bean paste
- 4 tsp cornflour
Preheat your oven to 200 degrees celsius/180 degrees (fan oven).
Put the flour to a mixing bowl and add in the cold butter in rough chunks. With your fingers, rub the butter and flour together until it forms a breadcrumb texture. Add the oats, sugar and salt and mix together well with your hands. Set aside.
Cut the apple into quarters, peel and cut into slices ~1/2 cm thick. You can cut it chunkier if you like but it may take a little longer to cook and you risk burning the crumble on top. To avoid this you can flash-boil the apple in a little bit of water before you put them in the oven dish.
Add the apple slices to a bowl, sprinkle over the sugar and the spices and toss together until all the slices are well coated. I’ve put the spices as optional because I know there are traditionalists out there who feel the apple does very well on it’s own. If you are one of these people, do feel free to leave them out.
Line the bottom of your baking dish with the apple slices, trying to lay them out as evenly as you can. Top with the crumble mixture and bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes until golden brown, turning halfway through. If the crumble starts to get too brown before the apple has cooked through, cover with tin foil for the remainder of the cooking time.
For the custard, add the milk and cream to a saucepan (larger than you think you’ll need) and warm over a medium heat, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile dissolve the cornflour with 8 tsp of water and have your sugar and vanilla ready to go. Once the milk starts to steam on top, whisk in the cornflour, sugar and vanilla and stir well.
Turn the heat up slightly and keep an eye on it. At first it will froth up a lot as it heats, which is why a large pan is desirable to avoid it bubbling over. As it thickens it will froth less and start forming large bubbles in the middle. Keep stirring every 15-20 seconds to keep it smooth and stop it from sticking to the bottom of the pan. It will take around 10 minutes for it to thicken up nicely.
When it is almost at the consistency you would like to serve it at, it is ready, as it will thicken more as it cools. If you want to test it before you take it off the heat, scoop some out with a teaspoon and let it cool on a cold plate. After 30 seconds it will be its cooled consistency.
Take the custard off the heat and add to a bowl to cool down. If you need it to cool quickly you can add the custard bowl to a slightly larger bowl filled with cold water or ice.
If you want warm custard then you make it while the crumble is baking, but I prefer to have it chilled and waiting in the fridge.
Take the crumble out of the oven and serve hot with custard liberally poured over the top.