|Eve's Pudding: Apples and Victoria Sponge|
Recipe Adapted from Mrs. Beeton’s Cookbook
My traveler friends warned me about this. After spending a month in the UK, American foods just don’t seem right. I miss the crispy sausage rolls sold on London streets, the soothing Lancashire hotpots served by my cousin, the fresh scones with real clotted cream, and the many delicious puddings (desserts). Inspired to create, I searched a very old edition of Mrs. Beeton’s Family Cookbook and discovered Eve’s Pudding. It’s a light Victoria sponge cake baked atop gently seasoned stewed apples. The “Eve” moniker is apparently a reference to temptation by apple.
|First Layer: Stewed Apples|
Two important don’ts for Victoria Sponge: don’t over-mix and don’t over-bake. Both will result in tough, dry cakes. I followed Mrs. Beeton’s method of separating the eggs, whipping up the whites, and folding them in last, to encourage lightness. I dropped the sponge onto the stewed apples in small spoonfuls, then used a light touch with a spatula to smooth them together. Avoid using a heavy hand and smooshing the sponge down into the apples.
For most interesting flavor and texture, use a variety of types of apples. Slice them thinly or chop into uniform chunks of about ½ inch. Peel them or not, as you prefer. For maximum authenticity and yumminess, enjoy this pudding warm, topped with light cream or Bird’s custard.
serves about 6
2 – 2¼ lbs. apples (6 – 7)
¼ cup raisins
¼ cup raisins
2 tbsp. brown sugar
¼ tsp. cinnamon
Juice of 1 lemon
¼ cup (1 stick) soft butter
½ cup sugar
2 eggs, separated
1 cup flour
1½ tsp. baking powder
For best results, allow enough time to stew the apples and cool them to room temperature before adding the sponge.
Core apples and peel if desired. Cut into thin slices or ½ inch cubes. Mix apples with raisins, brown sugar, and cinnamon in medium to large saucepan. Squeeze and strain the juice from one lemon and add water to equal ½ cup total. Add to saucepan with apples.
Stew apples over medium heat, stirring frequently, until softened, about 10 minutes. Place into the bottom of a 9-inch soufflé pan or casserole dish. Cool to room temperature.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Cream together soft butter and sugar until fluffy. Beat in egg yolks.
Whisk together flour and baking powder. In a separate small bowl, whisk egg whites until they form stiff peaks.
Stir flour into butter mixture with as few strokes as possible. Batter will be quite thick. Fold in egg whites with rubber spatula and/or spoon, keeping mixture as light as possible.
Drop batter by tablespoons onto cooled apple mixture in soufflé dish. Smooth batter dollops gently together with rubber spatula. Avoid pushing the sponge down into the stewed apples.
Bake at 350 degrees F until sponge is risen and golden, about 30 minutes. Don’t over-bake. Allow to cool for at least 30 minutes, and serve with light cream or custard sauce.
|Anatomy of a Pudding|
|Use a Light Touch When Adding Sponge|