An autumnal pudding that we have been making for many years, because it makes good use of the apples from the orchard at a time of year when there is not too much home-grown fruit to choose from. Setting the apple and prunes in a jelly just makes it a little lighter than a more traditional crumble.
We source our organic, unfiltered apple and prune juice from France, where it is a speciality in the applegrowing region of Nantes – however, you can make your own in a ratio of 80 per cent apple juice to 20 per cent prune juice.
For the fruit jelly:
2 small apples, peeled, cored and finely chopped
1 large pear, peeled, cored and finely chopped
375ml apple and prune juice (see introduction, above)
30g caster sugar
5 gelatine leaves
For the crumble:
100g plain flour
100g butter, chilled and chopped
75g light brown sugar
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
For the prune cream:
75g prunes, pitted
30g caster sugar
½ vanilla pod, split
150ml double cream
To make the jelly, put the apples and pear into a pan with the apple and prune juice, sugar and 100ml of water. Bring to the boil, then turn down the heat to a simmer until the pear is tender. Take off the heat.
Meanwhile put the gelatine leaves into a bowl of ice-cold water until soft (the water must be cold or the gelatin will dissolve). Take out, squeeze, and add to the hot liquid, stirring until dissolved. Divide between four large ramekins or glass jars, allow to cool, then put into the fridge for around 4 hours, to set.
Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas 4.
To make the prune cream, put the prunes into a pan with the sugar, vanilla pod and 125ml of water. Bring to a simmer for 5 minutes, then take off the heat and either whiz in a blender, or use a hand-held one, until smooth (leave the vanilla pod in, so that it is dispersed through the cream). Leave to cool.
To make the crumble topping, put the flour into a bowl and rub in the butter until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs, then stir in the sugar, cinnamon and oats.
Spread the mixture over a baking tray and put into the preheated oven for 12 minutes, until golden brown and toasted.
To finish the prune cream, whip the double cream in a bowl, just until it forms soft peaks, then gently fold into the cooled prune mixture. Do this as lightly as possible so as not to split the cream.
Take the pots of jelly from the fridge and top each one with an equal quantity of the toasted crumble mixture. Serve with a good dollop of prune cream.