(Theguardian) – A classic pudding with a twist – and comforting to the core
Yes, you read that correctly: this is a desert, not a dessert. If you love apples, this will definitely prickle your fancy.
For the apple crumble layer:
450g apples, peeled and roughly chopped
½ tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp ground cardamon
50g light brown sugar
For the crumble layer:
110g salted butter (room temp, cubed)
150g plain flour
100g caster sugar
20g flaked almondsAdvertisement
For the biscuits (makes extra)
200g salted butter
85g caster sugar
270g plain flour
For the royal icing:
100g icing sugar
20g egg white
Gel food dye
Preheat the oven to 200C (180C fan)/400F/gas mark 6. Mix the apples, cinnamon, cardamon and light brown sugar together in a bowl. Scatter to cover the base of an oven-proof 20-22cm-diameter (8-9in) round shallow dish.
In a separate bowl, rub the butter into the flour using your fingertips until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs (it is good to have some pieces varying in size). Stir through the sugar and flaked almonds. Sprinkle the crumble over the apple layer.
Bake for about 30-40 minutes, or until the top is golden, and the apples are bubbling and soft (insert a knife to check softness).
What turns this into a desert is the camels and cacti. Make the biscuits by first whisking together the butter and caster sugar until soft. Then add the flour and stir until combined into a ball of dough. Roll out on to a floured surface. Cut into cacti and cactus shapes. Ideally, use a biscuit cutter, although you can make your own template on card, then cut round this.
Place on to a lined baking tray in the fridge for 20 minutes, then bake for around 10-15 minutes at 180C (160C fan)/350F/gas mark 4.
Whisk together the icing sugar and egg white for the royal icing (you might need a little extra icing sugar/egg white to adjust the consistency). You can dye this different colours using gel food dye, and then place in piping bags and use to decorate the biscuits.
Arrange the biscuits to stand up in the crumble.