Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Comfort food

Sharing food with my Brazilian family is always a rewarding experience. So much energy and emotion is invested in cooking, eating and discussing food; life literally revolves around food here and I have to say that I absolutely love it.

Although I am by no means a cordon blue chef, I love cooking and I am always looking for typical English dishes to introduce them to. So last weekend I decided to take on the mammoth task of making my Mum's apple crumble.

I was quite nervous as I had never cooked it before, and I had also decided to make custard from scratch which was an added challenge and again something I had never done before. Knowing that my efforts will always be rewarded with praise and that I will never experience a Gordon Ramsay-style tirade gives me the confidence to try new things. So more often than not I am cooking dishes for the first time.

To my surprise the crumble turned out really well, not quite like my Mum's but close enough. The only thing I regretted was that she wasn't there to taste my first apple crumble and custard. I was able though to tell her about it during our weekly call the very next day.

My first apple crumble

Mixing the custard - service with a smile!

Ready to eat!

Miranda's Mum's Apple Crumble
Serves up to 6

300g Plain flour

Pinch of salt

170g unrefined brown or demerera sugar

200g unsalted butter cut into cubes

700g apples cored, peeled and cut (ideally Bramley but any kind will work)

Pinch of cinnamon
2 tbsp of water

Crumble mix

Mix flour and sugar together really well. Rub the butter into the mixture until it resembles breadcrumbs. If the mixture sticks together when pressed in your palm it has enough butter.

Apple filling

Cut the apples in 1cm slices and mix with with the water and cinnamon being careful not to break the fruit. Grease the bottom of a medium sized pyrex dish or 9" circular pie dish, spread the apples along the base so that they lie flat. Add the crumble mix over the top and bake in the oven for 40-50 minutes until the crumble is golden brown and the fruit is bubbling.

Miranda's custard

4 egg yolks

30g Caster sugar

570ml milk

55ml single cream

1 Vanilla pod or 1/2 tsp essence

2 level tsp cornflour

Heat the milk, cream and vanilla pod (if using) over a low heat and bring to simmering point. Whisk egg yolks, sugar and conrflour in a seperate bowl. Take the pan off the heat and pour into the bowl, whisking all the time. Return to the pan, add vanilla essence and cook on a low heat until thickened. Serve immediately. To prevent skin forming place in a jug and seal with clingfilm.

Bon appetit!


  1. I've not made custard before, but I love it. Ours is usually topped with vanilla ice cream in the States so the change is welcome. :)

  2. Yes that is good too and in the UK we also have it with cold single cream which is also delicious, kind of more a la mode as you say!