Apple crumble trifle

Bring the comforting flavours and textures of apple crumble to a Christmas trifle. Prep ahead so all you need to do is assemble it on the day

Serves 12-14


400g shop-bought or homemade sponge cake (such as ginger cake), cut into 3cm cubes
200g canned caramel, beaten to loosen
For the custard
300ml double cream
300ml whole milk
2 oranges, zested, plus extra to decorate
6 egg yolks (freeze the whites to use in another recipe; see tip, below)
100g caster sugar
2 tbsp cornflour
200g canned caramel
For the stewed apples
8 eating apples, cored and cut into 2cm chunks
1 orange, zested and juiced (youíll need about 120ml juice)
1 tbsp caster sugar
For the crumble
400g plain flour
75g dark brown soft sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
200g cold butter, cut into cubes
For the brown sugar chantilly
3 tbsp dark brown soft sugar
600ml double cream
1 tsp vanilla bean paste


Forthe custard, tip the cream, milk and orange zest in a large saucepan over a medium heat and bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Tip the egg yolks, sugar and cornflour into a large heatproof bowl and whisk until pale and thick. Pour in half the hot cream mixture and whisk to combine, then reduce the heat to low and whisk the egg mixture back into the rest of the cream in the saucepan. Cook, whisking for 3-6 mins until itís just simmering and quite thick Ė similar to lightly whipped cream.

Remove from the heat and whisk in the caramel and a pinch of salt. Cover the surface with a disc of baking parchment and leave to cool completely. Once cool, will keep chilled for up to a day.

Meanwhile, for the stewed apples, put the apples in a large saucepan with the orange zest and juice and the sugar. Cover with a lid and simmer over a medium heat for 8 mins until slightly softened. Uncover, turn the heat up to high and cook for 5 mins, stirring occasionally until all the liquid has evaporated and the apples are soft with a little bite. Transfer to a plate and cool. Will keep chilled for up to two days.

For the crumble, heat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6 and line a large baking sheet with baking parchment. Tip the flour, sugar, a pinch of salt and the cinnamon into a bowl, then rub in the butter until the mixture has a sandy texture, squeezing so there are a few larger clumps. Tip the crumble onto the baking sheet and bake for 15 mins. Break up the pieces slightly, toss and bake for another 10-15 mins, checking often until the crumble is evenly golden and crisp. Remove from the oven and cool completely. Will keep in an airtight container for up to two days.

Just before serving, make the brown sugar chantilly. Whisk the sugar, cream and vanilla to soft peaks. Set aside. Reserve a few spoonfuls each of the custard, crumble, caramel and apples. Layer the sponge cake pieces and remaining custard, stewed apples, crumble and caramel alternately in a 2-litre trifle dish. Spoon over the chantilly, then dot over the reserved custard, swirl over the caramel, and spoon over the reserved apple and crumble. Scatter over some orange zest. Will keep chilled in an airtight container for three days.