Apple Crisp with Custard Sauce


In the past few days, the city has been covered in a thick blanket of fog. It was sort of my idea of the Pacific Northwest when I considered moving here; I imagined long rejuvenating walks in the woods on foggy misty mornings before the city wakes.
Where I come from, the mist from the morning fog is believed to have restorative properties; the fresh dewy smell always reminds me of early morning walks with my grandmother when I was little. I guess that explains the yearning to go out in the fog…

Last night, just before dark, I went for a walk along the seawall. The quiet, the fog, the dusk and the reflection of the city lights on the water made for a hauntingly beautiful scene, I walked for bit, and just like that, all was well with the world again,
I went back home feeling like myself again, ready for dessert, craving something soothing, warm, sweet and light… to go with my mood.

IMG_3494 IMG_3507
IMG_3456 Apple Crumble with Custard

I thought about this apple crisp, I usually make it in the summer from big shipment of Envy apples from New Zealand, but this weekend I found some fragrant crisp sweet BC apples on sale at the market and I couldn’t pass up.
This crisp is awesome with ice cream, but on nights like these, this light creamy custard does the trick.

Apple Crumble with Custard IMG_3504

To make Bird’s Custard Sauce: Mix the 2 tablespoons Custard Powder and 1/4 cup sugar with a small amount of milk (from 2 cups of milk) to form a smooth paste. Bring the rest of the milk to the boil in a non-stick saucepan on medium heat. Gently whisk / stir the custard paste into the boiling milk. Bring back to the boil; stir until the custard begins to thicken. Add more milk if you prefer your custard thinner.


Apple Crisp with Custard Sauce

Adapted from 101 Cookbooks’ Plum and Peach Crisp recipe


  • 2 pounds apples, cut into bite-size chunks (choose a sweet, firm, crisp apple like Fuji, Ambrosia or Sunrise – peeled, if preferred)
  • 1/4 cup natural cane sugar (I used turbinado sugar)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Bird’s Custard Powder (or arrowroot powder / cornstarch)
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 old fashioned rolled oats
  • 3/4 cup white whole wheat flour (or all-purpose flour, or buckwheat flour for gluten-free option)
  • 1/3 cup natural cane sugar
  • 1/2 cup pistachios, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon cardamom
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/3 cup butter, melted
  • 1/3 cup yoghurt (I used coconut yoghurt for dairy-free option)


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F, and grease a medium-sized deep baking dish with butter
  2. Put the chopped apples in a medium bowl
  3. In a separate small bowl, whisk the sugar with the custard powder and a pinch of salt, sprinkle over fruit and toss gently
  4. Add vanilla extract and toss again to mix
  5. Transfer apples to the baking dish and set aside
  6. Grab a medium bowl and combine oats, flour, sugar, pistachios, cinnamon, cardamom and salt
  7. Stir in butter and yoghurt and mix well, to get a dough-like texture
  8. Sprinkle the crumble mixture over apple mixture
  9. Bake for 20 – 25, or until the topping is golden
  10. Sprinkle a bit more sugar on top as it comes out of the oven
  11. Serve warm with custard
  12. Enjoy!


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1 Comment

  • Reply Kitchen Butterfly

    Birds. I’ve got a jar.

    Love this , and can see how soothing it must have felt to have it, after the fog. Yum.

    2 February, 2013 at 4:01 am
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