This weekend it was one of Delia Smith's books that was to be cracked, she is such an old school English chef, I was delighted at the prospect of something warm and hearty to make as we plunge towards the shortest day. I have a copy of The Delia Collection: Puddings. Its a book that I very rarely refer to, and I'm not sure why, its strange how some cook books you buy, because you HAVE to have them, and yet they end up being sent to the back of the cupboard along with the random collection of cook books produced by your local primary school! I have started using the public library for cook books, I figure the books you are happy to pay on-going late fines for are the books you should probably invest in. When Mr Hooper announced the recipe on Friday night I felt waves of relief, it was a simple recipe that I actually had all the ingredients for. My under arm dangle, was safe to dangle with gay abandon this weekend, and the rolling pin remained safely tucked away.
The recipe is Baked Apple and Almond Pudding. It contains very few ingredients and was really yummy served warm with a drizzle of cream. An added bonus is that the pudding is gluten free. I am a big fan of gluten, in general most meals I cook are laden with gluten based ingredients. Lately lots of my friends have been trying life without gluten to see if it will improve certain ailments, mostly of the aggravated tummy kind. I have been reviewing the gluten free options, and have discovered that it is quite tricky cooking for a completely gluten free diet, so I have something to work on for the next time I have my GF friends over for dinner. If you have any suggestions on good gluten free dinner party meals, please let me know.
My BF is going gluten free, and as she is one of the few readers of this wee blog, I am going to dedicate this recipe to her (sorry Mum I will dedicate one to you soon). The recipe calls for cooking apples, but I used what we had, which I think were Pacific Rose.
450g APPLES, peeled, cored and sliced, make sure you get all the rough bits from the core, as these will never soften no matter how long you cook them.
50g soft BROWN SUGAR
110g ground ALMONDS
110g BUTTER, at room temp
110g golden CASTER SUGAR (I only had the regular kind, and it worked just fine)
2 large EGGS, beaten
You will also need a 20cm oven proof baking dish. Pre heat the oven to 180C.
Place the apples in a saucepan with the brown sugar and about 2tbsn of water. Simmer gently until soft, but not falling apart. This took about 30-40 minutes on a very low heat. Layer them on the bottom of the baking dish.
In a mixing bowl cream the butter and sugar with a beater, until pale and fluffy. Beat in the egg a little at a time, you want to avoid curdling the mixture. When all the egg is in, carefully fold in the ground almonds, the mixture should still be light and airy. Spoon the mixture over the apples and smooth out with the back of a spoon.
The recipe suggested baking for 1 hour. But in my oven at 180C it was ready after about 45 minutes, and probably could have come out a little earlier.
The pudding was very delicious, but if I were to go back and do it again I would double the amount of apples used, I felt it was a little lacking in the fruit department, and I would have also sprinkled in some cinnamon with the apples, or perhaps simmered them with a cinnamon stick for flavour. It was quite sweet so I think it would benefit from being served with some creme fraiche or natural yoghurt.
This would make a great mid week pudding if you are craving something sweet and delicious but not so naughty that you can't go back for seconds.....there is fruit in it after all.