Rahul’s Spiced Apple & Plum Nut Crumble with Orange & Ginger Ice Cream


Christmas & New Year Specials

This decadent crumble is topped with honeycomb – keep the extra in a sealed container for up to 2 days (you can enjoy it just as it is, or dip it in melted dark chocolate for an extra-special treat, if you like).

Serves: 8
Difficulty: Needs skill
Hands-On Time: 2 hrs, plus freezing
Baking Time: 35 mins
  • Ingredients
  • Method
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Step 1
Make the ice cream. Pour the milk into a medium pan and add the vanilla, orange zest and cardamom pods. Place on a medium heat and bring the milk up to a simmer, but don’t let it boil. Immediately remove from the heat and leave to stand for 5 minutes to infuse, then strain it through a sieve into a bowl to remove the cardamom pods.

Step 2
Place the egg yolks, cornflour and sugar into a small mixing bowl and beat together using a balloon whisk. Gradually whisk the warm milk into the egg mixture, then return it all to the pan. Place over a low heat and keep stirring with a wooden spoon, until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of the spoon. Remove the custard from the heat and pour it into a shallow dish. Place it into the fridge to cool completely.

Step 3
Meanwhile, make the praline. Place the sugar in a very small pan with 1 tablespoon of water. Place over a low heat for 1 minute, until the sugar dissolves, then bring to the boil. Let it bubble away without stirring until the sugar caramelises. Immediately add both the nuts and toss to coat, then pour the mixture onto one of the lined baking trays and leave to set.

Step 4
When the custard is cool, pour it into an ice-cream maker and churn it according to the manufacturer’s instructions until almost frozen.

Step 5
Crush half the praline and stir most of it into the ice cream (reserving a little for the decoration) along with all the stem ginger and leave the machine to churn it through until evenly distributed. Transfer the mixture to freezer-proof container and freeze for at least 1 hour. If you don’t have an ice-cream maker, you can freeze the mixture in a shallow container for 1 hour, then use a fork to break up the ice crystals. Freeze again for at least 4 hours, breaking up the crystals every hour or so, until frozen.

Step 6
Make the fruit filling. Heat the oven to 190°C/170°C fan/375°F/Gas 5. Peel and core all the apples and chop them into 2cm chunks. Put the butter into a medium pan and add the half the apples, along with all the spices, and the sugar and lemon juice and zest. Place a lid on the pan and cook over a medium heat for 4–5 minutes, until the apples start to soften. Remove from the heat, and remove and discard the whole spices.

Step 7
Halve the plums, destone them and cut each half into 4. Add the plum pieces, reserved uncooked apples and the ground almonds to the cooked apple, stir, then place in the baking dish. Set aside.

Step 8
Make the crumble topping. Place the flour, butter and oats in a mixing bowl and rub together until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Stir in both sugars, and the flaked almonds, hazelnuts and cinnamon. Spoon the crumble topping loosely on top of the filling and bake for 30–35 minutes, until the top is golden.

Step 9
Meanwhile, make honeycomb. Place the sugar and golden syrup in a medium pan. Cook on a low heat, without stirring, for 1 minute, until the sugar dissolves. Then, increase the heat and cook until the sugar caramelises and reaches 155°C/311°F on the sugar thermometer. Whisk in bicarbonate of soda, ground ginger and salt. The mixture will foam up and expand, so quickly pour it onto the second lined baking tray and leave to cool.

Step 10
Make the sauce. Combine the sugar and 3 tablespoons of water in a small pan. Place over a low heat, leave the sugar to dissolve, then bring the boil. Increase the heat to medium and keep cooking, swirling the pan from time to time (but don’t stir), until the sugar becomes an amber-coloured caramel.

Step 11
Meanwhile, warm the cream with the ginger in a microwave for 1 minute (or use a pan). Slide the caramel pan off the heat and pour in the warmed cream (take care – it may spit). Whisk to combine. Return the pan to a low heat and warm through for couple of minutes to remelt any hardened caramel. Pour the sauce into a serving jug and set aside.

Step 12
Make the apple roses for decoration. Slice the red apples as thinly as possible. Place them in a mixing bowl with the lemon juice, cover with a little boiling water, then cook in the microwave for 1 minute. Drain the slices, then roll them up, overlapping 5 or 6 slices to make each rose – you’ll need 8 complete roses altogether. Place the roses in the mini muffin tin and bake them alongside the crumble for the last 5 minutes, until just starting to brown at the edges. Remove from the oven and brush the apple roses with warm apricot jam.

Step 13
Arrange the apple roses on top of the crumble, inserting them into the crumble topping, so they keep their shape. Cut 3 leaves from the skin of the green apple and add these to the top of the crumble with chunks of honeycomb and a little of the remaining praline. Serve with scoops of the ice cream and the caramel sauce.