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    Warm crumble tart with vanilla custard

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    Warm crumble tart with vanilla custard

    Crumbles are so comforting during the cold, winter months. Use the deepest tart case you can find to pack in as much delicious fruit and crumble as possible.

    • Preparation time: 30 minutes, plus chilling and cooling
    • Cooking time: 1 hour
    • Total time: 1 hour 30 minutes, plus chilling and cooling

    Serves: 12



    225g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
    140g unsalted butter, chilled and diced
    25g Billington’s UnrefIned Golden Caster Sugar
    1 large egg, separated


    30g unsalted butter
    4 large cooking apples (about 1kg), peeled, cored and cut into chunks
    100-150g Billington’s Unrefined Golden Caster Sugar, to taste
    300g blackberries


    150g self-raising flour
    75g unsalted butter, chilled and diced
    100g Billington’s Unrefined Light Muscovado Sugar


    75g Billington’s Unrefined Golden Caster Sugar
    1½ tbsp cornflour
    5 egg yolks
    1 tsp Nielsen Massey Vanilla Bean Paste (or extract)
    250ml whole milk
    250ml single cream


    1. Preheat the oven to 200˚C, gas mark 6; place a baking sheet in the top half of the oven to heat up. For the pastry, put the flour and butter in a food processor and pulse to fine breadcrumbs (or rub with your fingertips to crumbs). Add the sugar and pulse a couple of times to distribute, then add the egg yolk and 2 tbsp ice-cold water. Pulse until the pastry just comes together to a dough, but don’t over-process.

    2. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface (no need to wash the food processor as you will use it for the crumble). Roll out the dough to a circle big enough to cover the base and sides of a 5cm-deep 24cm tart case with some overhang. Roll the pastry over the pin and lay in the case. Gently press into the base and up the sides, allowing the excess to fall over the edges. Roll the pin over the top to cut away the excess (keep the excess to repair any cracks in the pastry once baked), prick all over the base with a fork, then pop in the freezer for 15 minutes (or fridge for 30 minutes).

    3. When ready to bake, line with baking parchment and baking beans. Bake for 10-15 minutes until the sides are just golden. Remove the parchment and beans, and bake for another 10-15 minutes until light golden all over. Lightly beat the egg white and, as soon as the case comes out of the oven, brush over the base and sides to seal the pastry and prevent it from going soggy when you add the filling; cool completely.

    4. For the filling, in a large lidded sauté or frying pan, heat the butter over a medium-high heat until starting to brown. Fry the apple for 30 seconds or until starting to brown. Toss 100g caster sugar with the apple, then reduce to low and add 2 tbsp water. Cover with a lid and gently steam for about 3-4 minutes until just soft. Take off the heat, stir in the blackberries and leave covered for a few more minutes. Check for sweetness, adding more sugar to taste; uncover and cool completely.

    5. For the crumble, place the flour and butter in the food processor and pulse to fi ne breadcrumbs. Pulse in the sugar, then tip into a large bowl and press with fingertips to make large crumbs.

    6. Strain the fruit fi lling over a bowl and catch the juices. Spoon the fruit into the tart case, filling it ¾ of the way up. (Keep any leftover fruit fi lling and the juices to serve on the side.) Sprinkle the crumble over the fruit and bake for 25-30 minutes until golden. Leave to cool for at least 20 minutes before serving.

    7. For the custard, whisk the sugar, cornflour, egg yolks and vanilla in a large bowl until smooth. Place the milk and cream in a large heavy-based saucepan and bring to the boil. Take off the heat and slowly pour over the egg yolk mix, whisking to combine.

    8. Sieve the custard back into the rinsed-out pan. Gently heat, stirring constantly for 5-8 minutes, or until thickened. Serve with the tart. (If not using immediately, cool the pan in a bowl of cold water and cover the surface of the custard with cling film. Gently reheat to serve.) 

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    This recipe first appeared in the Harvest section of Waitrose Food, October 2016 issue. Download the Waitose Food app for the full issue


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