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For the custard: :
Place yolks, sugar and vanilla in small bowl and using a hand beater beat until thick and creamy. Dissolve cornflour in milk then combine milk and cream in a small saucepan and bring to the boil, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and gradually pour over yolk mixture, beating continually. Pour mixture back into the saucepan and stir over low heat, without boiling, for 5 minutes or until the custard thickens and coats the back of a spoon. Pour into a jug, stir through brandy and set aside to cool. Refrigerate until ready to bake.
For the spiced apple: Cut each apple quarter into four slices and place in a medium saucepan with butter, sugar, spices and water.
Cook over low heat for 15 minutes or until the apples begin to soften.
For the crumble::
Combine the flour, oats, brown sugar and salt in a bowl. Using the tips of your fingers, rub in butter until the mixture resembles chunky breadcrumbs – some of the pieces of butter will be pea-sized while some will be absorbed into the crumble.
Pre-heat oven to 180°C and grease a 1 litre capacity square ovenproof dish with a little butter.
Tip the just softened apples and any liquid into the prepared dish and sprinkle with crumble. Using the back of a dessertspoon or a fork, make an indentation about 5cm wide in the middle across the width of the crumble topping and fill with cold custard.
Bake for 35 minutes or until the crumble is golden. Serve dusted with icing sugar if desired, and ice-cream.
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