Why do all good things have to come to an end? My parents left a couple of days ago after a whirlwind visit. My sister and her kids had also joined us from Qatar and each family member brought with them a bucket list of what they wanted to do in Dubai.
So along with them, I became a tourist in my own home country. We shopped, visited everyone's favorite restaurants, had greasy street food-the list goes on. Maryam bonded with her cousin Imran all over again and they were inseparable. They did everything together from riding bikes, splashing in the pool or making the most beautiful drawings.
Hassan achieved another milestone with the help of his sweet cousin Fatema. Three months older, she crawled at Olympic speed and not wanting to be left behind, he followed suite. It was a thrilling moment and he now follows us everywhere. If you follow me on Instagram, you will have seen his favorite spot to go hide his toys, watch tv from or just be.
And then there were many many long hours spent around the kitchen table. As they always are. If we weren't buying food, we were either talking about it or preparing it. Or best of all eating it. Is that unusual?
And no visit is incomplete without my mom introducing a new recipe. This time, she made the most buttery and crumbly shortbread cookies with a shimmer of dessicated coconut and strawberry jam filling. Drizzled with coconut icing for extra sweetness. You can catch a sneak peek on Instagram and I hope to share it next week.
But today is a fall dessert that is my mom's absolute favorite dessert. If I'm honest, I've even made this in the height of summer when I visit her in Tanzania- it's something she, or rather WE, can have anytime. A simple apple crumble trifle. I started with some butter roasted apples with warm cinnamon and and muscavado sugar followed by vanilla bean custard. My favorite part is of course the crumble on top.
We silently sat on the sofa and finished our glasses without even looking at each other. All that could be heard were spoons clanking as we scooped every layer clean. Satisfied bellies whilst we clutched empty glasses with the anticipation of having leftovers for breakfast.
1 1/2 cups double cream
1 cup milk
1 vanilla pod, deseeded
1/4 cup + 2tbs caster sugar
5 egg yolks
1 tbs cornstarch
3 small apples- peeled, cored and thinly sliced into wedges
2 tbs butter, room temperature
1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
1 tbs muscavado sugar
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup muscavado sugar
3 tbs cold butter, cubed
2 tbs ice cold water
To make the custard, combine the cream, milk, vanilla pod plus seeds and 1/4 cup sugar over medium heat. Bring to a simmer and stir to make sure it doesn't stick to the bottom of the pan. Mix together the rest of the sugar, egg yolks and cornstarch still smooth. Add the warm milk mixture to the egg mixture slowly and whisking the whole time. Return custard mixture to simmer over medium heat, stirring constantly until it thickens to coat the back of a wooden spoon. Cool by stirring over an ice bath and refrigerate.
To make the roasted apples, combine the first four ingredients and bake at 180 degrees Centigrade for 30-35 minutes until soft and cooked.
To make the crumble, pulse together the next three ingredients (flour, sugar, butter) until mixture resembles bread crumbs. Add water and rake with a fork to make small clumps. Freeze for ten minutes before baking at 180 degrees Centigrade for 20- 25 minutes or until golden.
Assemble the trifle by layering the apples topped with cold custard and sprinkled with crumble.
Makes 6 trifles depending on glass size.