For ages I didn’t know what to cook for this week’s recipe – I knew I wanted to make something for Halloween, but what? Pumpkin pie? Pumpkin bread? Pumpkin cake? My final recipe turned out to be a lot less orange than expected…
Apart from my get-up, this recipe was actually quite scary to make. Ever since messing up my first batch of custard I have an irrational fear of messing it up again. So I stand by the stove, stirring until my arm falls off and carefully watching the custard’s every move. For a less traumatic experience, just stick to the recipe! A bain-marie is pretty much the safest way of making custard – by only gradually adding heat to the mixture the chances of it turning into scrambled eggs is virtually zero. If you are adding corn flour to the mix make sure you sift it – no one likes clumpy custard! Finally, enjoy watching your custard thicken. For ages nothing will happen and you start having doubts whether you’re doing things right, but when things start to get creamy, you suddenly realize that you just made your first delicious bowl of homemade custard. How British!
Apple-wise, make sure to choose a variety that is firm cooking and lends itself to baking. I used red delicious because of their taste and colour, but have a look at the links below for more inspiration. Some people just core the apple without first cutting the top off – it’s up to you what you go for, I just prefer my apples with a hat! When coring, make sure that you remove all inedible parts of the apple (e.g. seeds etc) and don’t go too far down! It is easy to slip with your spoon and accidentally break your apple, so I would suggest buying one or two more, just in case.
You could replace the apple juice in the recipe with plain water if you wanted to, the juice is just there to make sure that the bottoms of the apples don’t burn to the oven dish. And if you want to go budget, vanilla essence works just as fine as actual pods, and check the baking aisle for cheaper raisins!
For the apples:
3 firm-cooking red apples (I used red delicious)
2 handfuls of dried fruits & pecans
2 tbsp syrup
150 ml apple juice
For the custard:
150 ml milk
150 ml single cream
1 vanilla pod
3-4 egg yolks (depending on size)
Green food colouring
Corn flour (optional)
Bake apples for approx 30-40 minutes. Make custard in the meantime!
Watch the video for instructions, and do get in touch if you have any questions, as silly as you think they might be!
And finally, have a look at these great links for inspiration and information.
Custard-related science anyone? This informative website holds all the custard facts your heart could desire!
You can’t serve this dish without proper Halloween decoration! Here are some great ideas on how to make your own!
Finally, have you ever wondered what the differences between different kinds of apples are? I know I have! This website has an extensive list of apple varieties, their look, taste and texture. And with its handy sidebar you can easily navigate the hundreds of apples!
Antonia Landi for the Useful Times.