Friday, October 31, 2014

Eve’s Pudding

Eve's  Pudding
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.

Pan with apples, raisins, sugar, and cinnamon
First Layer: Stewed Apples
Traditional Eve’s pudding is made with equal parts of butter, sugar, and flour. In the UK these are measured by weight. Some recipes say to weigh the eggs and then use the same weight to measure the other ingredients. I started with 4 oz. of each (eggs in shells weighed a bit less), and calculated to the nearest cup equivalents. I also added baking powder for lightness.

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.

Eve's pudding topped with custard sauce
British Style: Served with Custard
Eve’s Pudding
serves about 6

2 – 2¼ lbs. apples (6 – 7)
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.

Eve's Pudding with Scoop Removed
Anatomy of a Pudding
Topping the Apples with Sponge
Use a Light Touch When Adding Sponge

No comments:

Post a Comment