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Recipe: Butterscotch apple crumble

Unlock the next level in the game of crumbles by including butterscotch, which cuts through the tartness

Apple crumble is the staple of British desserts, says Poppy O’Toole. It’s good just as it comes, but I think I’ve unlocked the next level in the game of crumbles by including butterscotch, which cuts through the tartness.

Ingredients: serves 4-6

For the topping

  • 150g plain flour
  • 90g dark brown soft sugar
  • a pinch of salt
  • 100g butter, cubed and chilled

For the filling

  • 50g butter
  • 150g dark brown soft sugar
  • 100ml double cream
  • ¼ tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 large cooking apples, peeled, cored and sliced
  • a large pinch of flaky salt

To serve

  • custard
  • ice cream
Method
  • Preheat the oven to 190°C.
  • Make the topping. Mix the flour, sugar and salt in a large bowl. Then, a few cubes at a time, add the butter, using your thumbs and fingertips to rub it in until it looks like lovely, chunky breadcrumbs (you don’t want it too fine – some lumps are good for extra crunch once it’s cooked). Set aside.
  • Make the filling. Place the butter in a medium saucepan over a medium heat. Leave to melt, then add the sugar and stir. Leave to dissolve, stirring every so often, just so that the caramel doesn’t burn. Meanwhile, pour the cream into a jug and stir in the vanilla.
  • After about 3-5 minutes, reduce the heat under the pan to low and, using a whisk, carefully pour in the vanilla cream, whisking as you go.
  • Add the apples and flaky salt, and gently stir them through so that the apple slices are completely coated in the thick butterscotch. Transfer this mixture into a medium oven dish.
  • Scatter the crumble evenly over the top. Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until the crumble is golden and the filling is bubbling.
  • While the crumble is in the oven, warm up your custard: place it in a saucepan over a low heat, stirring continuously, for about 5 minutes, until it’s warm and silky. Be patient – don’t rush it, as we don’t want it to split.
  • Serve the hot crumble in bowls smothered in lashings of custard – and vanilla ice cream, because I love it with that, too. So, yes, both.
Poppy Cooks book

Taken from Poppy Cooks: The Food You Need by Poppy O’Toole, published by Bloomsbury at £16.99. To buy from The Week Bookshop for £13.99, call 020-3176 3835 or visit theweekbookshop.co.uk

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