A traditional pudding, best served with plenty of custard!
Peel half a dozen sweet apples, or two or three large cooking apples. Cut into quarters and remove the core and pips for each quarter, then chop into half-inch cubes.
Put all the apple into a heavy-based saucepan with a tight-fitting lid. Add four heaped tablespoons of castor sugar and top up with boiling water from the kettle to just cover the fruit. Optionally, add half a stick of cinnamon.
Bring the apples and water to the boil on the stove, then cover and simmer for half an hour, or until the apples are very soft. Allow to cool slightly, remove the cinnamon stick, then tip the entire contents into a food processor or blender. Whizz to form a smooth paste, then transfer the suace to an oven-proof dish.
Take four or five thick slices of slightly stale white bread. Use the food processor to process into fine breadcrumbs, then add four tablespoons of brown (Demerara) sugar. Process again briefly to mix.
Melt gently two ounces of butter in a saucepan with a non-stick lining. Pour in the breadcrumbs and stir gently to make sure the buuter is uniformly absorbed. Using a spoon, cover the apple sauce in the dish with breadcrumbs.
Put the dish into an oven pre-heated to 180C or Gas mark 5. Cook for 20-25 minutes, until the topping is browned. Serve hot with custard.