Nov 05

Eve’s Apple Bake with Vanilla Custard



Over the weekend I had a couple of friends and their dog round for dinner. It was a miserable weekend; it had been raining here in Amsterdam for three days straight with no end in sight. The nights are pretty frigid as well. No signs of the first snowfall yet, although in the news I read of stories in the UK where up to three inches of snow has fallen in Bath and a further five inches has fallen in the north over the weekend. Kerry Anne who lives in Lausanne on the shores of Lake Geneva reports sporadic snowfall over in her city as well. Crikey! And it’s only just gone into November! There is talk of a harsh winter heading our way this year, although the Netherlands is relatively better off than most European countries considering we (technically) live in a “hole” … roughly 8m ( 26ft ) below everyone else. Being surrounded by loads of water also helps regulate extreme temperatures, so as far as European countries to live in I think we chose the best one climate-wise.



Anyway, once we set the date for the dinner I embarked on choosing the menu. There was a great debate on whether to serve lamb or chicken as the main course. R obviously was the one insisting I make my signature roast as the star of the table.  Lamb it was then. *rolls eyes*



Fine. So he won that one and was content thereafter. I was given free range in the entrée and dessert department, although I knew he was just itching to ask for yet another chocolate pudding. Uuugh! But I had my heart set on a spiced apple pudding number. I have been on a spice obsession since my last visit to ‘De Peperbol’ spice shop at the Albert Cuyp market so this dessert choice was a no-brainer. It’s fast, it’s easy and I got to bake it a good few hours in advance before the guests arrived.






The ingredient list isn’t fancy either. Just grab yourself about four to six good sized Granny Smith apples, peeled and cored. Cut them up into cubes and drizzle some lemon juice over to prevent browning. Then throw them all into a pot along with some orange juice, lemon zest, orange zest, the ground spices and sugar.






Turn on the heat to medium and let everything come to a nice gentle simmer. Your house will then very quickly be filled with the warming aroma of cooking apples and cinnamon. Best smell ever (second only to baking chocolate chip cookies)! Stir the apples occasionally to coat them evenly with the sugar and spices. Cover the pot and let it simmer for another 10 mins. You don’t want to apples to get too mushy so keep tasting with a fork. Remember, you are going to bake them later so keeping some crunch in them now is essential.





Once you get to the “done-ness” you desire with the apples, mix in the cornstarch slurry a tablespoon at a time until the right jammy consistancy is achieved. If you pour in too much all at once the mixture will turn gluggy and awful lumps will form. Now transfer to a baking dish and set the mixture aside to cool completely to room temperature. In the meantime, read a magazine or prep the other bits and pieces for dinner. I took to arranging my flowers in a vase.



When you are ready for stage II, grab the butter and sugar and proceed to cream them together. Then add the egg and vanilla extract. Add the milk, sift in the flour and salt to form a basic sponge batter. Spread over the apple filling and bake at 180ºC in a preheated oven for 30 – 40 minutes. Et voila! I made the pudding in the afternoon, ahead of time. Before serving it up after dinner, I placed heavyduty tin foil over the top and popped in back in the oven for 15 minutes to warm thru.





Eve Apple Bake



  • 6 Granny Smith apples, cubed
  • juice of half a lemon
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • zest from one whole lemon
  • 1/2 tsp mixed spice or pumpkin pie spice
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch in 1/2 cup water



Sponge Topping:

  • 1.5 cups self-raising flour
  • 80g butter, softened
  • 120 mls milk
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 1 whole egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt





This is a very homey dessert, served right out of the dish it was baked in and everyone can help themselves to a portion. The original recipe includes dried currants and golden sultanas but R isn’t too crazy about those in his desserts, so I left them out. But feel free to include them in yours coz I think they impart their own wonderful flavour to the pudding. Simply add a quarter cup of each to your pot of apples and simmer together.





This pudding, served hot, would go very well with a generous scoop of vanilla ice cream, but I chose to serve mine with cold vanilla custard instead. Some would even say just a splash of cream would do. Whichever way you choose to go I am sure it will be lovely. Toppings are a personal choice. This pudding tastes better the next day tho, so personally I prefer my pudding cold and a day old.



Vanilla Custard:

  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 whole egg
  • 70 g caster sugar
  • 500 mls whole milk or half-n-half
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 45 g custard powder
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch



Heat the milk on medium heat until just about boiling. Then take it off the heat and stir in the vanilla extract.



In a clean bowl place the egg yolks, whole egg and sugar. Cream slightly until mixture turns pale.



Now add the custard powder and whisk it in thoroughly. Then add the cornstarch and whisk it in as well. You will end up with a thick yellow paste.By whisking in the powders in small batches you are ensured of a lumpless paste.



Gently pour in the hot vanilla milk into the egg mixture, whisking constantly to temper. Once you have all the milk mixed in with the eggs, strain it back into the pot and turn on the heat to low.



Keep whisking the mixture for 10 minutes until the mixture thickens. Do not stop or you will get lumps in the corners.



Once it is at the consistancy you desire, take it off the heat and cool it down by whisking it in an ice bath. Place a sheet of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the custard to prevent a skin from forming. Place in the fridge to chill completely, preferably 4 – 6 hours.




I hope you give this a try and let me know how your kitchen escape went. Until next time …




~ Enjoy!! ~





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