Spiced baked apples with custard

Nursery puddings, such as Clodagh McKenna's comforting baked apples, taste even better when surrounded by a moat of creamy custard
By Clodagh McKenna
Spiced baked apples with custard
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Effort: easy



  • 4 cooking apples
  • 100 g brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 4 tsp butter
  • 16 cloves

For the custard

  • 500 ml milk
  • 1 vanilla pods, split
  • 100 g sugar
  • 4 egg yolks, lightly beaten with a fork


1. Preheat the oven to 180C/gas 4. Using an apple corer, remove the cores from each apple and scoop out about 2 tablespoons of flesh from the centres. Tip into a bowl with the brown sugar, honey, and cinnamon.

2. Stuff the hollow of each apple with the spiced mixture, and top with a small knob of butter. Pierce each apple with 4 cloves around their middles and bake for 30 minutes, until the apples are soft, but still hold their shape.

3. While the apples are in the oven, make the custard. Heat the milk and vanilla pod in a heavy-based saucepan and bring to simmering point. Remove from the heat, add the sugar and stir to dissolve.

4. Pour half the sweetened hot milk over the yolks, stirring briskly. Add the yolk mixture to the remaining milk in the pan and cook over a low heat, stirring constantly, until the custard thickens. Remove the custard from the heat and strain into a bowl. Serve straight away with the warm apples.

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