As we've ended up with an old cooking apple on our new patch of land, I'm having to find new ways of using the crop up other than the default 'crumble'.
Eve's pudding isn't hugely different, the crumble portion of the dish is replaced by sponge.
This is my own adaption of the plain recipe.
5 or 6 medium apples (cookers or eaters to taste)
Muscovado sugar to sweeten
100g self-raising flour
100g golden caster sugar
2-3 tablespoons cinnamon
2 eggs, beaten
Fan oven pre-heated to 180°C
1. Peel, core and quarter the apples, cook in microwave until softened. Drain excess fluid from the fruit. Place in large glass pudding basin and put to one side. The apples should fill about half of the dish.
2. Cream together the butter and sugar into a paste. Add the beaten eggs gradually, whisking gently into butter/sugar mixture. Add a little of the flour to avoid 'curdling' at first. Add the cinnamon to the flour, and sieve into the rest of the mixture, mixing it in gradually until you have a stiff paste.
3. Depending on how sweet or sour the apples are, add between 1-3 tablespoons of muscovado sugar to taste, and then another couple of tablespoons of Quince jelly, spreading over the apples. Spread the sponge mixture over the top and shape it so it covers the apple evenly.
4. Place in the oven, cook at 180°C for 15 minutes then turn the heat down to 150°C (to help stop the top burning) and cook for a further15 minutes. Remove from oven and test with knife, as you would a sponge to see if the mixture sticks to the metal.
This is the difficult bit as, unlike a sponge cake, there is a variable amount of moisture in the apples that makes the sponge layer rather gooey. The aim is to get the top crisp, the middle spongey and the bottom still slightly gooey (a glass basin will let you see what's going on). If the mixture still seems very wet just underneath the surface put back for another 15 minutes. The top can be covered with foil to stop the top burning.
This might seem like a fiddle, but it is worth the effort as the contrast between the crisp top and soft centre is wonderful. The jam/sugar mixture should have formed a thick caramel around the apple.
We used our Grenadier apples, which by this stage are actually a good sharp desert which keep their shape when cooked, ideal for this recipe.
Once the knack of getting the sponge right is mastered, I think this is a really good basic recipe that can be varied to suit other fruits.