Here’s another winter warmer using apples. This light, apple sponge pudding with a sticky apple compote on the top is made more luxurious when accompanied with a creamy Somerset cider brandy custard.
150g soft butter
150g light brown sugar, plus a dessertspoon for the compote
125g plain flour
10g baking powder
25g ground almonds
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground mixed spice
2 Bramley apples
Firstly, peel and core the apples. Chop one into chunks, pop into a pan with about a dessertspoon of brown sugar, cook down until soft but with a chunky texture. Preheat your oven to about 120c and butter your pudding moulds well (I use individual ones which hold 1/4 pint). Spoon a little of the apple compote into the bottom of each pudding mould. Grate the other apple. Cream the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs and mix in. Add the flour, baking powder, spices and ground almonds and fold in gently. Fold in the grated apple. Spoon or pipe into the pudding moulds. Place the moulds in a deep baking tray and pour about an inch of water into the tray; a bain marie. Cook for about 45 minutes, dip a skewer or small knife into the centre of one of the puddings, if it comes out clean they are cooked.
Cider brandy custard
300ml double cream (or a mixture of milk and cream)
50g egg yolks
Somerset cider brandy, to taste
Heat the cream in a pan until it reaches a simmer. Whisk the egg yolks and sugar together in a bowl. Pour half the cream into the egg yolk/sugar mix, stir gently to combine then pour the mixture back into the pan. Heat gently and stir continuously until the custard thickens. Remove from the heat and strain through a fine sieve if necessary. Add the brandy.
For the apple crisps; finely slice an eating apple, no need to peel or core but remove the seeds. Place the slices on a lined baking tray, dust with icing sugar and cook/dry out in a very low oven, about 90c, for about an hour, or until crisp. Turn occasionally and dust with more icing sugar.