Crumble, custard, cake - who knew so many excellent words began with C? Cheese, coffee, Christmas, chocolate... wow - I could go on! Anyway, back to the cake.
I bet there's not a single person in England who hasn't had a fruit crumble for dessert at some point. It's a grandma classic!
And can we just talk about custard for a minute? Sometimes it's thick and jelly like, topped with whipped cream and flaked almonds in a trifle, sometimes it's sticky and gloopy and tooth-achingly sweet - sickly almost - with an even gloopier and stickier steamed pudding, sometimes it's pale and delicately flecked with vanilla, and sometimes it's fluorescent pink and barely custard at all, but nonetheless it's delicious.
Sadly, homemade custard is a bit of a pain to make. Unless I'm making a really special pudding, I usually grab a pot of the ready made stuff but since there's only two of us in our house, we rarely get through a full tub before it goes past its best. So I make a cake.
150g butter/ margarine
150g caster sugar
100g ground almonds
150g self raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp grated nutmeg
left over crumble topping (see method)
a handful of chopped plums/ apples/ pears
about 150g tinned/ carton of custard
crushed hazelnuts or flaked almonds
tsp cinnamon / ginger/ cardamon
Add three generous spoonfuls of your leftover custard and lightly incorporate it into the mixture before spooning about 2/3 of it into the cake tin.
Create a few little wells in the mixture and spoon in the rest of the custard and a few spoonfuls of jam. Top with the rest of the cake batter.
Push your sliced fruit into the top of the cake and then top it with the crumble.
Bake for 45 minutes without opening the oven. It will probably need another 10-15 minutes on top of this but it's best to keep an eye on it after it's had the first 45 minutes as things can change quickly. When it's done it'll be springy and the cake skewer will come out clean.
Turn out the cake onto a rack and allow it to cool. Serve with a large cup of tea!