500ml double cream
1 vanilla pod
100g caster sugar (plus extra for topping)
6 free range egg yolks
I large bramley apple, peeled, cored and diced
Further 150g caster sugar for puree
2 or 3 cloves
Method : Preheat oven to 150C. Pour cream into saucepan, split the vanilla pod lengthways and scrape the seeds in to cream – the vanilla pod can also be added to the cream for the cooking process. Bring the cream to the boil then reduce heat and simmer gently for 5 minutes.
In a separate bowl, beat the sugar and egg yolks in a large heatproof bowl until pale and fluffy. Bring the cream back to the boil and pour it over the egg mixture, whisking continuously until thickened – this indicates the eggs have begun to cook. Strain the mixture through a sieve into a jug – this can then be used to fill the ramekins to approximately ¾ full.
Place the ramekins into a bain marie ensuring water bath comes up to ½ way on their outsides. Place the bain marie into the oven for approximately 35-40 minutes or until custards are set but still slightly wobbly in the middle. Remove ramekins from bain-marie and set aside until to cool to room temperature – chill until needed.
In a separate saucepan add the chopped apples, caster sugar and cloves – heat until apples are ‘stewed’ or to a point when they can be easily crushed with the back of a fork.
When ready to serve, top each ramekin with a teaspoon of caster and caramelise with a chef’s blow torch – garnish the ramekins on top with the pureed apple.