Monday, September 24, 2012

Apple Custard

The farmers' market on Saturday was filled with pumpkins in all shapes, colors and sizes.  Colorful mums were all about.  While there were still tomatoes to bring home, apples were more abundant.  I'd already started pulling out fall recipes for apples and this one from Susan Herrmann Loomis' On Rue Tatin is always at the top of the list.  It's success depends on the apple and Granny Smith works for me.  Newton Pippin, Northern Spy or Jonathan's would work as well.  The apple brandy is optional, but adds a nice layer of flavor to the custard.

Apple Custard inspired by Susan Herrmann Loomis

1 1/2 pounds Granny Smith apples, peeled and cored
4 Tbsps unsalted butter
1/2 cup sugar
2 1/2 Tbsp apple brandy (optional)
1 tsp vanilla
2 large eggs
2  egg yolks
3/4 cup heavy cream

1.  Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
2.  Cut the apples into eighths.  Heat the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  When hot and foamy, add the apples and saute until golden all over, about ten minutes.  Add the 2 Tbsp of sugar and cook until the sugar has caramelized, shaking the pan so the apples and sugar are moving about and the sugar doesn't burn.  If using the brandy, remove the pan from the heat, add the brandy and ignite.  Swirl the pan about until the flames die down.
3.  Transfer the apples to a buttered Charlotte or souffle mold.  I used the Charlotte mold.
4.  Whisk together the eggs and egg yolks.  Whisk in the sugar, cream and vanilla until well combined. Pour over the apples.  Bake until the top is golden and slightly puffed, about 35 minutes.  Allow to sit for about half an hour before serving.