Spiced Apple, Raisin and Calvados Crumble with Sauce Anglaise

Jean-Christophe Novelli can't resist adding a French accent to the classic British comfort dish of fruit crumble and custard
By Jean-Christophe Novelli
Spiced Apple, Raisin and Calvados Crumble with Sauce Anglaise
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 6
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Prep Time: 35 minutes
  • Effort: easy


For the fruit

  • 75 g raisins
  • 2 tbsp calvados
  • 900 g Bramley apples, peeled and sliced
  • 25 g brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp water

For the crumble topping

  • 225 g wholemeal flour
  • 75 g butter, softened
  • 75 g brown sugar
  • 1 vanilla pod, split

For the sauce anglaise

  • 8 egg yolks
  • 75 g caster sugar
  • 300 ml milk
  • 300 ml double cream
  • 1 vanilla pod, split


1. Preheat the oven to 180C/gas 4. Place the raisins in a small bowl with the calvados and leave to soak.

2. To make the crumble topping, rub the flour and butter together in a large mixing bowl using your fingertips until the mixture looks crumbly. Stir in the soft brown sugar and the seeds from the vanilla pod. Set the mixture aside to rest while you finish preparing the fruit.

3. Combine the sliced apples, soaked raisins, sugar, spices and water in a bowl and mix well. Transfer to a gratin or pie dish, ensuring the surface is fairly level.

4. Sprinkle crumble mixture evenly over the fruit and bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes, or until the topping is golden brown.

5. Meanwhile, to make the sauce anglaise, beat the eggs and sugar together in a large heatproof bowl until thoroughly blended.

6. Bring a pan of water to a simmer to use as a bain-marie. Meanwhile, in a saucepan, bring the milk, cream and split vanilla pod to just under boiling point.

7. Place the bowl containing the eggs and sugar over the pan of simmering water and whisk in the cream mixture. Stir constantly until the custard is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Remove the bowl of custard from the hot water and keep warm.

8. When the crumble is cooked, remove it from the oven and spoon it into warmed dessert bowls. Serve with the warm sauce anglaise.

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