There is nothing nicer in the autumn than collecting crisp, fresh apples to make that delicious light dessert, Apple Compote, which is ideally served with a freshly made Crème Anglaise.


  • for the apple compote:
  • 6 tart apples
  • splash of water
  • pinch nutmeg
  • soft brown sugar to taste
  • 100 g burned butter
  • for the crème anglaise:
  • 500 ml milk
  • 6 egg yolks
  • one pod vanilla
  • 100 g caster sugar


  • Apple Compote:
  • Peel and core the apples and cut them up quite roughly. We will flavour the compote with a little freshly ground nutmeg and a little sugar to give it a touch of sweetness.
  • First throw the apples in a saucepan with a little water and the lid on and the heat high, so that they cook really fast. It will take 10 minutes or so and you should check it once or twice and give it a wee bit of a stir.
  • When it is ready, take it off the heat, grate in a little nutmeg and add sugar to taste. Leave it to one side until you are ready to serve it.
  • To give it a final touch, burn a little butter and pour it over. The butter must not go black, the key word is caramelised.
  • Crème Anglaise:
  • The secret to a good Crème Anglaise is to use fresh full fat milk. You could even put a bit of cream in there. Put the milk on to warm, along with a split vanilla pod, which should ideally be stored in a jar with your sugar. Bring the milk slowly to the boil to allow the flavour of the vanilla to infuse it.
  • Next you beat up the egg yolks with the sugar, until they double in volume and turn virtually white. Pour the hot milk into the egg and sugar, beating it lightly to make sure it is thoroughly mixed and put it back into the pan. This is the part demanding maximum attention, stirring gently and constantly.
  • When the spoon starts to meet some resistance, pull it out and run your finger down the spoon, if your finger leaves a ridge, the custard is cooked and comes off the heat. Let it cool down completely and keep it to one side. When it is ready to serve, take out the vanilla pods and scrape the seeds back into the custard.