Lik­ing dem ap­ples...

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AP­PLE pud­ding is an easy make-at-home pud­ding that is per­fect served with a dol­lop of plain whipped cream, per­haps en­hanced by an added spot of vanilla, su­gar and/or le­mon zest. Al­ter­na­tively, some pour­ing cream, a spoon­ful of crème fraîche or mas­car­pone or just good old vanilla ice cream could lift this hearty, homely pud to new heights.

Which­ever way it is served, it does not need much tart­ing up, al­though the fol­low­ing ver­sion with quinces, port and aniseed in­stead of ap­ple makes for a much fancier af­fair. I made mine in a cake tin with a loose bot­tom and turned the end re­sult up­side down, but for a homely ver­sion a good old Pyrex oven dish will do.

For many years I only savoured this pud when oth­ers made it and I was un­der the im­pres­sion that the sauce was made from evap­o­rated milk. While I am sure that it would be just as great us­ing this prod­uct, none of the recipes that I re­searched used evap­o­rated milk in the sauce — per­haps it is a lo­cal adaptation. The most in­ter­est­ing recipe that I came across was called an “em­bed­ded pud­ding”. All the recipes I found made the sauce with vary­ing amounts of su­gar and cream. Un­like koek­sis­ters, where the suc­cess of the recipe re­lies on pip­ing hot dough go­ing into ice cold syrup, the same pre­scrip­tions do not ap­ply in the case of this old stand-by. As long as the sauce goes onto the pud­ding Quinces take rather a long time to cook, but it is nec­es­sary that they are well cooked and soft when pierced with a fork. Most of the liq­uid should also have cooked away, so it is nec­es­sary to re­move the lid to­wards the end of the cook­ing time. For the bat­ter: 50 g but­ter, soft 140 g su­gar 3 eggs 120 g cake flour Pinch of salt 5 ml bak­ing pow­der 60 ml milk Pre­heat the oven to 180 C. Grease a deep oven­proof plate when it is taken from the oven, it re­ally doesn’t de­tract too much from the fi­nal prod­uct if the sauce is boil­ing or just hot.

In a sense this ver­sion shares many sim­i­lar­i­ties with the much ac­claimed Malva pud­ding, ex­cept that an acidic com­po­nent (vine­gar/apri­cot jam) is es­sen­tial in the bat­ter to give a dis­tinct sour taste to a Malva pud­ding. Be­cause ap- with but­ter. Cream the but­ter and su­gar to­gether un­til light and fluffy. Add the eggs one by one and in­cor­po­rate well be­tween each ad­di­tion. Fold in the flour, salt, bak­ing pow­der and milk. Pour the bat­ter in the oven plate and dot the quinces all over. Bake for an hour un­til firm to the touch. Sauce: 150 ml cream 140 g su­gar 5 ml vanilla essence Bring the cream and su­gar slowly to the boil to dis­solve the su­gar. Add the vanilla and pour the hot sauce over the pud­ding as soon as it comes from the oven. ples (or quinces) bal­ance the sweet­ness of the sauce in this recipe, it makes for a lighter dessert. Use any type of port for this adapted ver­sion, but the new De Krans pink port makes for a lovely coloured quince and an end re­sult that is not as heavy as red port would have done. Mus­cadel and hanepoot may also work; adapt su­gar lev­els ac­cord­ingly!

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