Along with caramelised roast pumpkins; crisp, foggy mornings and that first smell of woodsmoke, cooking apples signal Autumn proper for me. Making apple sauce is child’s play. Roughly chopped and simmered down with a spot of butter, sugar and water and maybe a pinch or two of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg or cloves; the transformation from crunch to mush is impressive. The hardest decision is then whether to stir your sauce into cake, serve it up with roast pork, stir into breakfast yoghurt or make a time honoured, quintessentially British comfort pudding: apple crumble.
I’m afraid I can’t give you quantities for a crumble. I make it differently every time, only half relying on any number of recipes at the start of each autumn to remind myself what I’m doing. I stew apples with butter and sugar and maybe stir in fresh blackberries or frozen blueberries if I’ve got any. Meanwhile I ring the changes in the basic topping (butter, flour and sugar) with oats, spices and/or nuts.
I winged the custard today too with equal measures of full fat milk and double cream gently warmed, then a paste of cornflour, egg yolk, sugar and vanilla whisked before heating to just below the boil. Not gonna lie. It was my best yet. I’m looking forward to the leftovers once my daughters have gone to bed!