Thursday, 16 September 2010
Bramley Cooking Apples have to be one of the most versatile fruits in the English Kitchen. Grown in the UK specifically for cooking, they retain their apple flavour throughout the cooking process and produce a light, airy, moist texture, with a 'melt in the mouth' consistency.
They also count towards your "Five a Day!" I think next year we will be planting a Bramley Apple tree or two if we can, coz they surely are a favourite ingredient of mine!
Just perfect for traditional apple puddings like this lovely one, Apple Dappy, which hails from the West Country . . . the counties of Dorset, Sommerset, Devon and Cornwall. Apple growing counties where lots of apples are grown for cider, eating and cooking.
It's an old recipe having originated in Victorian times, so I can well imagine this having been a popular dish during Larkrise to Candleford times.
It's a simple enough recipe that even Minnie could make. Minnie is Dorcas' hopeless young housemaid. Lazy, dreamy and utterly unreliable, Minnie seems to cause havoc wherever she goes. But she is also loveable and has a desperate need to belong. I just love Minnie!
This recipe consists of a beautiful rich buttery scone type of dough, spread with lovely tart cooking apples (Bramleys being my choice), sprinkled with some demerara sugar and spice, then rolled up and cut into slices. The slices are then placed into a buttered dish and a buttery lemony sweet sauce is poured over top before the whole thing is placed into the oven and baked until it is all puffed up and golden brown . . .
The pastry all buttery and crisp on top and lemony sweet on the bottom and filled to the brim with lovely meltingly tart and tender bits of bramley apple . . .
Spooned out hot into a bowl and covered with lashings of warm custard or dollops of clotted cream, this is a dessert fit for Kings and Queens, but simple enough to have easily have fit into the simple man's diet.
Traditional, simple and oh so very delicious. I hope you'll give it a try!!
Serves 4 to 6
A traditional Victorian Pudding from the West country, where apples grow in abundance!
For the Pudding:
225g of self raising flour (scant 2 cups)
1 level teaspoon of baking powder
2 ounces butter, cut into bits (1/4 cup)
150ml of milk (scant 2/3 cup)
1 pound of cooking apples
1 TBS Demerara sugar (turbinado sugar)
1/8 tsp of ground cinnamon or allspice
For the Syrup:
1 large unwaxed lemon
1 TBS golden syrup (could use honey)
a knob of butter
4 ounces caster sugar (1/2 cup superfine)
200ml of water (7 fluid ounces)
Preheat the oven to 190*C/375*F/ gas mark 5. Butter a two pint baking dish and set aside. (4 cup)
First make the lemon syrup. Peel the lemon as thinly as possible. Place the peel in a saucepan along with all of the juice from the lemon. Add the syrup, butter, sugar and water. Bring to a simmer, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Set aside.
Sift the flour into a bowl along with the baking powder. Drop in the bits of butter. Rub the butter in with your fingertips until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add the milk, stirring it in with a fork. Tip the dough out onto a floured board. Turn to coat in flour and then pat it out to an 8 inch square.
Peel and chop the apples, discarding any peel and the cores. Spread the apples over the square of pastry. Sprinkle evenly with the sugar and cinnamon/allspice. Roll up like a swiss roll. Cut into 1 inch thick slices with a sharp knife and place cut side down in the prepared baking dish.
Strain the syrup mixture and then pour it over top of the slices.
Bake in the heated oven for 30 to 35 minutes until puffed up and golden brown. Serve hot with some warm custard or clotted cream. Delicious!