Pommes Bristol

A dessert made with relatively simple ingredients, Pommes Bristol is delicious. Choose a firm-textured apple such as Cox's Orange Pippin and serve with whipped cream.


serves 4
100 g (4 oz) sugar
300 ml (1/2 pint) water
1 tsp vanilla essence
4 large eating apples, peeled, cored and sliced
3 oranges

for the caramel:

75 g (3 oz) sugar
75 ml (3 fl oz). water


1. Put the sugar and water in a saucepan with the vanilla essence and let the sugar dissolve slowly over gentle heat. When dissolved, increase the heat slightly and simmer until a fairly thick syrup forms.

2. Add the apples to the pan. Simmer very gently for about 10 minutes or until tender, taking care that the apples do not break.

3. Remove from the heat, cover with a lid until quite cold; the apples should be transparent.

4. Meanwhile, remove the outer rind from one of the oranges with a sharp knife and cut into thin matchstick strips. Put in a small pan of water, bring to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Drain, refresh under cold running water and set aside.

5. Remove the peel and pith from the oranges and slice into rounds. Discard any pips.

6. Put the apples and syrup into a large serving bowl or divide between individual bowls.

7. Arrange the orange rounds on top.

8. To prepare the caramel, put the sugar and water in a saucepan and let the sugar dissolve slowly over gentle heat.

9. When dissolved, increase the heat and boil until the syrup turns a rich-brown, caramel colour. Pour into a greased shallow baking tin and leave until set.

10. Crush with a pestle, wooden mallet or rolling pin and sprinkle over the oranges with the orange rind strips. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours before serving.

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