Friday, November 15, 2013

Eve’s Pudding – tempting ...

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If Adam was around today, I think Eve would be hard-pushed to find an apple to tempt him.
I grew up next to an orchard. I have no idea what varieties I - and my equally delinquent siblings - scrumped*, but there were a lot of tempting fruits. They ranged from tiny sour crab apples - perfect for jelly - through sweet pink-fleshed varieties, to enormous freckly cookers that needed just a touch of sugar and a little spice to bring out their best.

The storeroom at the back of the house smelled cidery in the autumn, with boxes of carefully wrapped (more honestly acquired) apples. This is not a smell the supermarket offerings can recreate.
I am racking my brains to think of varieties beyond Braeburn, Gala, Pink Lady, Granny Smith, Fuji, Cox’s Pippin and the (pretty good) cooker, Bramley.  They all blow my least favourite, Golden Delicious, out of the orchard in terms of flavour and texture, but still... would Adam risk being chucked out of the Garden of Eden for one of these? I’m inclined to think not.
I was delighted to receive a bag of homegrown apples from a friend recently. They were an old variety – Reinetta. I’m not sure of the exact strain, but the variety is believed to have originated in France in the 16th century so it’s got a decent pedigree, and if it has survived all those years, it must have some commendable characteristics.
It does. Intensely sweet and sharp, with a dense, creamy flesh, and not too juicy, these heritage apples were perfect for this fat-free dessert.

Eve’s Pudding is best served straight from the oven as the sponge topping sinks a little as it cools.

For 8 individual, tempting portions, you will need...

Stewed Apple Filling
500g (prepared weight) of cooking apples (Granny Smith or Bramley will do if you haven’t got a friend with a heritage apple tree)
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
50g caster sugar
2 tablespoons water

Sponge Topping
2 large eggs
50g caster sugar
a pinch of salt
60g plain flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon

To serve
2 teaspoons icing sugar mixed with ¼ teaspoon of cinnamon
Good vanilla ice cream or home-made custard (optional)

Pre-heat the oven to 160°C
First make the filling: peel, core, and slice the apples and sprinkle with lemon juice to prevent them from discolouring. Place them in a medium saucepan with the sugar and water. Cover and cook gently over a medium heat for about 8 minutes or until soft. Divide between 8 small pie dishes or ovenproof bowls. Leave to cool.

Meanwhile make the sponge topping: place the eggs, sugar and salt in a mixing bowl and, with an electric whisk, beat until the mixture is thick and creamy and more than doubled in volume. To check if it is thick enough, stop the beaters and lift them from the mixture. Any mixture dropping from the beaters should remain on the surface for a moment or two.

Mix the flour, baking powder and cinnamon together and sift, about a quarter at a time, into the egg mixture, folding in between additions. (Folding in avoids overworking the batter, keeping it light and airy.To fold in, use a large metal spoon and cut through the centre of the batter. Move the spoon across the bottom of the bowl, and back up the side and across the top bringing some of the mixture from bottom to top. Give the bowl a quarter turn and repeat. Keep folding the mixture and turning the bowl until the flour is incorporated into the batter.)

Divide the mixture between the bowls of cooled stewed apple. Place the bowls on a shallow baking tray or roasting dish and bake in the pre-heated oven for 25-30 minutes or until well risen and golden.

Remove from the oven and sift the icing sugar and cinnamon over the top before serving as soon as possible.

This fat-free dessert is even more tempting with a scoop of vanilla ice cream melting over the top. Just saying...

*scrump – a juvenile rite of passage which involves raiding orchards, and develops such useful skills as outrunning fearsome guard dogs, emergency tree/wall/fence-climbing and river/ditch leaping – all very Enid Blyton, and wonderful exercise.

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  1. Noooooooo now I need those little bowls, it starts with an Empanada press ,,,, love love love this blog thank you x

  2. Hi Jan, hope you are enjoying the Empanada Press. I anticipate lots of crescent-shaped goodies over the xmas period :) Aren't those bowls cute! I couldn't resist. Sometimes the container inspires the dish I decide to make.

  3. I love love love this! It is SO mine. Anything with apples and cake is a winner and this is lovely.

    Plus I adore the name. :)

  4. Yup, I'd want mine with a scoop of vanilla! I adore apple desserts...and they're even better with fresh from the orchard apples :)

  5. Oh lucky you were to grow up around an orchard. (I'd be doing a lot of scrumping too!) This pudding looks heavenly...I can think of nothing better than warm, sweet apples covered in sponge cake. And I love your pretty little bowls, too! : )

  6. What a well written post, Hester! And a great recipe to boot. We have a lovely apple tree in our back yard -- a Northern Spy -- that is producing tasty, tart but ugly fruit. Still, it's great to have them.

  7. A beautiful recipe my friend, apple is one of my favourite ingredients to use :D
    Great post!


  8. i love the title, eve pudding sounds fancy instead just an apple...
    i love apple sweet bites all the was,
    especially well spiced like this..
    a pinch of cardamn and cloves powder will be just perfect for my licking!

  9. Love these old fashioned recipes so glad they have come back in vogue. Apples are such a good ingredient they can make anything taste special!

  10. LOVE your writing! I seriously grin through the whole post! :D TEMPTING!!! This looks so tasty! We're a bit past apple season here, but perhaps I can find some to make it! YUM!

  11. I love the name of this pudding! And i would totally eat 2 bowls of this pudding in one sitting ;)

  12. @ Cake Whiz ... Oh dear, I did - which kinda defeats the whole no-fat element, but still...

  13. This looks so good and those bowls are so cute! Is that an egg you are holding in the picture? I have never seen one that colour (or maybe that's some fancy lighting effect?)

  14. Oh my goodness that is really tempting. I'm glad I am not Adam because I don't have the role of resisting the temptation. LOL! Wish you a wonderful week Hester! :)

  15. @ Fran - no, no fancy lighting effect. A sunbeam caught it as I picked it up and I liked the effect. (Though it was quite funny trying to keep the egg in the light without dropping it while I squinted through the camera and at very awkward angle).

  16. Oh MY! So many apple varieties grew in your neighbourhood! I can only imagine the beautiful orchard you are talking about. And lucky you, to get such a friend, who gifted you such uncommon apples! I am sure, this pudding would taste way better!!

  17. Hi Hester! long time no see your blog!
    My mother raves about Reinetta apples, the elusive apple of her youth which tasted better than any other since!! she'll love to know they are still around somewhere! xx

  18. Yum!! This pudding looks so comforting and simply delicious! What an amazing recipe :)


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