Calvados custards

with brown butter crumble and Sauternes apple

Serves 8




Calvados custards

165 ml (5½ fl oz/²⁄³ cup) milk

165 ml (5½ fl oz/²⁄³ cup) pouring (single) cream

½ vanilla bean, cut in half lengthways, seeds scraped

75 g (2½ oz) caster (superfine) sugar

2 free-range eggs yolks

30 ml (1 fl oz) Calvados


Brown butter crumble

125 g (4½ oz) unsalted butter

125 g (4½ oz) skim milk powder


Sauternes apple

100 ml (3½ fl oz) sauternes or moscato wine

1 Tbsp lemon juice

1 kg (2 lb 4 oz) granny smith apples

100 g (3½ oz) unsalted butter

80 g (2¾ oz) caster (superfine) sugar

1 tsp ground cinnamon

¼ tsp ground cardamom


To serve

155 g (5½ oz/¾ cup) raw (demerara) sugar

8 scoops good-quality vanilla

ice cream



For the custards

Combine the milk, cream, vanilla seeds and 1/2 the sugar in a saucepan. Bring to just below boiling, then set aside to cool slightly.

In a bowl, mix the egg yolks and remaining sugar. Whisk in the warm cream mixture until combined, strain into a container, then mix in the Calvados. Cover the surface with plastic wrap and chill for at least 8 hours.

The next day, preheat the oven to 95ºC (190ºF). Give the custard a good stir, then pour into eight small 10 cm (3 inch) baking dishes. Bake for 30 minutes, or until the custards are fully set, but still with a little wobble. Cool to room temperature.


For the Brown Butter Crumble

Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the milk powder and whisk constantly until the butter and milk powder turn golden brown. Strain the crumble mixture over

a bowl, keeping the strained butter, and placing the crumble on a tray lined with baking paper to cool.


For the apple

In a bowl, combine the Sauternes and lemon juice. Peel and core the apples, then cut each into about six wedges. Toss in the Sauternes mixture.

In a large frying pan over medium–high heat, melt 1/2 the butter. Add 1/2 the apple, sugar and spices and cook for 1 minute. Add half the Sauternes mixture and cook for 3–4 minutes. Reduce the heat and cook until the apple is soft and no juice remains. Remove the apple and cook the remaining wedges the same way.


To serve

Sprinkle the sugar evenly over the custards and carefully caramelise with a kitchen blowtorch, or place under a hot grill (broiler). Top with the apple wedges, crumble mix and a dollop of ice cream.