Crystelle’s Apple & Vanilla Brandy Snaps


Series 12

Welcome to the humble apple crumble – reinvented as delicate, bitesized mouthfuls. Perfect.

Makes: 12
Difficulty: Needs skill
Hands-On Time: 1½ hrs
Baking Time: 45 mins
  • Ingredients
  • Method
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Step 1
Heat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/350°F/Gas 4.

Step 2
Make the brandy snaps. Melt the butter, sugar and golden syrup in a pan over a low heat. Remove from the heat and stir in the flour and cinnamon. Mix to a smooth paste, then stir in the lemon juice. Tip the mixture onto one of the lined baking sheets and leave it to cool until firm (about 15–20 minutes).

Step 3
Meanwhile, prepare the apple filling. Melt the butter in a pan over a medium heat for about 5 minutes, until browned. Add the sugar and stir to incorporate. Tip in the apples, and add the cinnamon and apple cider vinegar. Stir to coat in the butter and sugar, then cook over a low heat for 6–8 minutes, until the apples have softened. Remove from the heat and leave to cool.

Step 4
Make the crumble. Blitz the caster sugar, flour, cinnamon and salt in a food processor to combine. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add the demerara sugar and pulse to incorporate. Tip the mixture onto a baking sheet and bake for 15–20 minutes, until lightly golden and slightly crisp. Remove from the oven and leave to cool.

Step 5
Divide the brandy-snap mixture into 12 equal pieces and roll each piece into a ball. Place 6 balls on the remaining lined baking sheet, spacing them well apart. Bake for 10–12 minutes, until lacy. Immediately remove from the oven and cut out 12 neat circles using the cutter. Leave the brandy-snap discs to rest for about 1 minute, until they are cool enough to handle but still pliable.

Step 6
One by one, mould each brand-snap disc around the outside of a tartlet case and place another tartlet case on top, pressing down gently. Flatten out the rim to form a lip. If the brandy snap discs get too cold to mould, put them in the oven for a minute to soften a little. Once you’ve moulded 6 cases, leave them to harden while you repeat Step 5 with the remaining 6 balls of brandy-snap mixture. Remove the hardened baskets from the tart cases and repeat Step 6 for the final 6 circles to give 12 brandy snap baskets altogether.

Step 7
Make the vanilla whipped cream. Using an electric hand whisk, whisk the cream and vanilla together to soft peaks. Spoon the cream into the piping bag fitted with the star nozzle and twist the end to seal.

Step 8
Assemble the brandy snaps. Sprinkle a teaspoon of the crumble into the base of each basket. Spoon a generous teaspoon of the apple filling on top of the crumble. Pipe a small amount of the cream on top of the apples and sprinkle a little more of the crumble over the cream. Dust with cinnamon to decorate and serve immediately.