You can serve this dessert warm or, alternatively, refrigerate until cold, scatter with caster sugar and caramelise the top with a blowtorch. Good-quality shop-bought biscuits such as cantucci or ginger wafers add extra texture without adding labour.
- 375 ml dessert wine
- 400 gm caster sugar
- 1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped
- 4 pieces lemon rind, removed with a peeler
- 6 cardamom pods, bruised
- 4 pink lady apples, unpeeled, each cut into 8 wedges, core removed
- 600 ml thick cream (35% fat)
- 8 egg yolks
- For dusting: freshly grated nutmeg and icing sugar
- 1Preheat oven to 160C. Combine dessert wine, 330gm sugar, vanilla bean and seeds, lemon rind, half the cardamom and 50ml water in a large deep-sided frying pan, stir over medium-high heat until sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil, cook for 7-8 minutes until a light syrup forms, add apple, reduce heat to low-medium and cook, turning occasionally, until tender and translucent (10-12 minutes). Drain half the apple from syrup with a slotted spoon, divide among bases of four 500ml-capacity shallow ovenproof bowls placed in a baking tray lined with a tea towel, set aside. Warm remaining apples and syrup just before serving.
- 2Meanwhile, combine cream and remaining cardamom in a saucepan over medium heat and bring just to the boil. Whisk yolks and remaining sugar to combine, pour over cream mixture and whisk to combine. Strain into a jug, divide among bowls and scatter with nutmeg. Pour in enough boiling water to come halfway up sides of ramekins, cover with foil and bake until just set (15-20 minutes), stand for 5 minutes, dust with icing sugar and serve with remaining apples, syrup and crisp biscuits.
Drink Suggestion: Botrytis semillon. Drink suggestion by Max Allen