Filling2Jonathan apples, cored and thinly sliced50 gm muscatels or raisins, soaked overnight in 2 tbsp brandy6eggs500 ml pouring cream430 ml (1¾ cup) milk60 ml (¼ cup) brandy110 gm (½ cup) caster sugar2 tbsp finely grated orange rindFor dusting:demerara sugarBrioche250 gm (12/3 cup) plain flour50 gm caster sugar7 gm (1 sachet) dry yeast50 mlwarm milk3eggs, at room temperature250 gm very soft butter
For brioche, preheat oven to 190C. Combine flour, sugar, yeast and a pinch of sea salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook. Combine milk and eggs in a separate bowl, whisk to combine. With mixer on low setting, add egg mixture and mix to combine. Increase speed to high and beat for 2-3 minutes, then add butter, a little at a time, beating to incorporate before adding more butter. Beat for 1-2 minutes or until smooth and shiny, then cover with plastic wrap, stand in a warm place for 1 hour or until doubled in size. Knock dough back and place in a lightly buttered 10cm x 24cm loaf pan, stand for 30 minutes or until doubled in size. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until dark golden. Stand in pan for 5 minutes, turn onto a wire rack to cool.
Preheat oven to 180C. Slice brioche thickly, trimming crusts, then cut into 1.5cm cubes. Place in a single layer on an oven tray and cook for 5-6 minutes, shaking tray occasionally, until toasted and golden.
Reduce oven temperature to 160C. Divide brioche among 6 lightly buttered 1¼ cup-capacity ovenproof bowls, placing slices of apple and muscatels or raisins between brioche pieces. Whisk eggs, cream, milk, brandy, sugar and orange rind together in a bowl and pour over brioche (you’ll have some mixture left over). Stand for 10-15 minutes so the brioche absorbs the custard, top up with remaining custard, scatter with Demerara sugar and bake for 12-15
minutes or until custard is firm and brioche is golden. Stand for 10 minutes before serving.
When it comes to cooking, all apples (and there are lots of ‘em!) aren’t created equal. The glossy green Granny smith is arguably the best apple for cooking, especially in purées and sauces. Its natural tartness makes it ideal for relishes. golden delicious apples have juicy, aromatic flesh and are perfect to use when you want apples to hold their shape after cooking (as in our cider-roasted spatchcock). They are also suited to apple tarts and could be used in place of Braeburns in the apple, ginger and almond cake. Crisp and juicy braeburns, with a pink-red blush against green skin, are great baking apples, although some would argue they are best enjoyed when eaten raw. Another blushing variety is the pink lady, a cross between golden delicious and Lady Williams. A very popular eating apple, its firm dense flesh also holds up well to caramelising, baking and for use in pies. Dark red and elongated, red delicious are the least suited to cooking. They’re best put to use thinly sliced raw through salads, where their sweetness is beautifully offset with a piquant dressing. Other great cooking apples include cox’s orange pippin, lady williams and, if you can get your hands on them, crabapples, which make the finest tarte Tatin you could hope to eat (look out for the John Downie variety).
At A Glance
Serves 6 people
At A Glance
Serves 6 people
You might also like...
Easter lunch recipes
Christmas pudding ice-cream
Raspberry and Mint Mojito
Thomas Keller's sandwich recipes
Neil Perry: Prawn cocktail
Barbecue trout bundles with prosciutto and button mushrooms
Neil Perry's Spice Temple recipes
Serge Dansereau: Homemade lemonade
Pickle and preserve recipes
Serge Danserau: Duck confit and potato terrine
Sexy salad recipes
Serge Dansereau: Marinated goat’s cheese with summer vegetables