Baked apples with dates, honey & spices served with vanilla custard
4 cooking apples
2 tbsp honey
100g/4 dried pitted dates, finely chopped
2 tsp of ground cinnamon
80g/5 tbsp butter, melted
For the custard
400ml/1¾ cups milk
1 vanilla pod/bean
3 egg yolks
30g/2 tbsp caster/superfine sugar
1. Pre-heat the oven to 180oC/Gas Mark 4.
2. Remove the cores of the apples with an apple corer. With a spoon enlarge the size of the cavity by double.
3. Place the honey, cinnamon, nutmeg, dates, and melted butter in a small bowl and whisk together. Then pour the thick liquid into the cores of each apple.
4. Pierce each apple with 4 cloves around the diameter of the apples. Place in to the pre-heated oven for 30 minutes.
5. While the apples are baking, make the custard. Heat the milk with the vanilla pod until just boiling. Mix together the egg yolks, sugar and cornflour to get a smooth paste.
6. Pour over the milk and stir well. Remove the vanilla pod to re-use in another recipe. Strain the mixture back into a clean saucepan and, stirring constantly, cook gently until the custard thickens.
7. Pour the custard over the apples just before you serve.