Stewed Apples & Custard


The Pairing

La Belle Sauvage, by Philip Pullman

And Speculative Kitchen’s delicious La Belle Sauvage inspired foods!

The Reasoning

In the first entry of the long-awaited Book of Dust, young Malcolm Polstead lives in a cozy waterfront pub with his parents. In the chilly evenings, he eats traditional British fare cooked by his mother: steak pies and stews, good bread and butter. But the thing that caught my attention was the simple dessert of stewed apples and custard – something my own grandmother occasionally made for me as a child. As we head into the cool, crisp Autumn, I felt compelled to attempt a cocktail that captured these particular flavors.

The Cocktail

You will need:

  • A small saucepan
  • 2 mugs
  • Large spoon/ladle
  •  Cinnamon sticks
  • 4 Cloves
  • 4 Allspice berries
  • Ground nutmeg
  • 0.5 tsp Vanilla extract
  • 2 cups unfiltered apple juice
  • Whipped cream (hand whipped or spray can is fine)
  • 2 tsp brown sugar or raw cane sugar
  • Spiced rum (Non-Alcoholic Substitute: Omit this Ingredient)

Serves 2 – recipe can be adapted to serve more by doubling up, etc.

Pour 2 cups unfiltered apple juice into saucepan. Add 1 cinnamon stick, 2 tsp brown sugar, 0.5 tsp vanilla extract, 4 cloves and 4 allspice berries. Place on medium-high heat until close to boiling, then lower heat and allow to simmer, about 5 minutes. Stir occasionally. Once infused, use a spoon to remove cloves, cinnamon, etc.

Pour 2 oz spiced rum into each of your mugs. Using a large spoon or a ladle, pour apple juice mixture into each mug until the mug is mostly full. Gently spoon or spray whipped cream onto the surface of the drink.

Sprinkle a dusting of nutmeg on top of the whipped cream and use a cinnamon stick as garnish. You may like to use a teaspoon to eat the whipped cream, but I advise against stirring – the apple juice is too acidic for this to be a good plan.


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