For the crumble
Place the Shropshire Prune damsons (or another variety if you can’t get Shropshire prune) & apples in a pan with the sugar and the butter and a tablespoon or two of water.
Cook over a moderate heat until the juices start to flow from the damsons and apples, about 5 minutes, depending on the ripeness of your fruit. Tip the fruit and the juice into a deep pie dish.
Rub the butter, which should ideally be cold from the fridge, into the flour with your fingertips. When the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs, stir in the almonds and sugar. Sprinkle a tablespoon of water over the mixture and stir lightly with a fork. Some of the crumbs should stick together in small lumps – this gives a more interesting crumble.
Scatter the crumble over the fruit, then bake in a preheated oven at gas mark 6/200 for about 35 minutes. The crumble is baked when the crumbs are pale gold and some juice has soaked through the crust. Serve with the Billington’s Gingerbread ice-cream and Billington’s crumb.
For the ice-cream
1 Halve the vanilla pods length ways and scrape out the seeds. Add the pods to the cream and bring to the boil, then add the sugar and stir until the sugar has dissolved.
2 Meanwhile, whisk the egg yolks in a large bowl and then slowly whisk in the hot cream mixture.
3 Pour the mixture through a ﬁne sieve and into another bowl, then whisk in the vanilla seeds.
4 Transfer to a bowl set over iced-water and keep stirring until the mixture is cool.
5 Add the Billington’s Gingerbread crumbs.
6 Pour the mixture into a freezer-proof container and freeze for 2-3 hours, or until set.
Due to the absence of milk in this recipe, the ice cream does not crystallise in the freezer bowl. So there’s no need to stir it. Ideal for anyone without an ice cream maker.
Serve a portion of Shropshire Prune Damson and Apple crumble with Billington’s Gingerbread ice-cream and sprinkle with Billington’s Gingerbread crumb.