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Phil's autumn apple crumble pie

Apple season is here and it's time to harvest the whopping 1.6 billion - ready to be picked by hand - in British orchards. And as we’ve had the ideal weather to produce one of the best harvests this year, Phil Vickery is live from Hartley Dyke Farm in Kent ready to show us a delicious way to use them.

Apple crumble pie with Calvados custard

Preparation time: 20 minutes

Cooking time: 35 minutes

Serves: 4-6


2 medium Bramley cooking apples, peeled, cored and cut into large chunks

zest and juice of 1 large lemon

125g caster sugar

2 Braeburn apples, peeled, cored and cut into small pieces

15g butter,

Splash of water

For the custard

175mls milk

2 heaped tbsp custard powder

75g sugar

For the crumble

75g cold salted butter

125g plain flour

75g caster sugar

1 x 24cm x 3-4cm deep pastry tart cooked blind and sealed with beaten egg 


600mls milk

2-3 tbsp custard powder, roughly

3-4 tbsp golden syrup, roughly

3-4 tbsp Calvados, roughly


1. Preheat the oven to 180C

2. Heat a saucepan, then add the Bramley apples, lemon zest and juice and sugar. Cook for 5 minutes to soften slightly. Drain off the excess liquid.

3. Heat another small frying pan, add the butter, Braeburn apples and a splash of water and cook until the apples are tender and just golden brown. 

4. To make the crumble, put the butter and flour into a bowl and rub together with your fingers until it resembles breadcrumbs. Add the sugar and mix in.

5. Make the custard by stirring a little of the milk with the powder to slake

6. Heat the rest of the milk and once just boiling whisk in the slaked powder and cook until nice and thick, remove from the heat and stir in the sugar

7. Cool slightly and then spoon into the bottom of the pastry shell, spread out evenly

8. Then top with the cooked apple and finally the crumble, but do not pack the crumble mix down, it needs to be left light and fluffy

9. Bake in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes until the crumble is brown and evenly coloured. Remove from the oven and cool.

10. Make the next batch of custard in the same way as above, adding the syrup to taste. The sauce will be lighter and more of a sauce consistency.

11. Then add the Calvados to finish, serve with the warm but not hot tart.

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