This week was the turn of a pudding. We rarely eat puddings in our house; the size of the main course is so mammoth that there is rarely room for a sip of water, let alone more food!! Obviously we eat a lot of cake but just never straight after dinner!
I'd visited my hairdressing friend earlier in the day. She wanted to practise my hair for my sister's wedding. I left her house a few hours later with a very glamorous hairstyle and a dry mouth from all the talking! When I got home, Neil promised he would take me out for a meal to show off my posh hairdo - what a bonus! I didn't want to bake the pudding after an evening out, so I made it before we left. Usually, when I bake, I scrape my hair into a ponytail. I certainly felt more sophisticated on this occasion!
The recipe was nice and straightforward, which is always nice! I added some flour into a bowl along with some sugar. I needed a relatively small amount of butter. I had forgotten to leave it out of the fridge to soften up, so popped it into the microwave for a quick blast. Obviously the blast was a bit too much as a lot of the butter gave in to the heat and melted. I tipped the rather runny butter into the bowl before adding just the one egg. I had chosen a lemon with a skin as tough as old boots. My right arm was aching by the time the zest made it into the bowl! I fetched some milk from the fridge and measured it into a measuring jug. I poured the ample amount of milk in to join the rest of the ingredients and beat everything together. I expected the combined mixture to be runny, but in fact the consistency was that of a normal cake mix. I spread the cakey mixture into an oven-proof baking dish, before adding the apricot halves on top. I placed each half cut side down. There were exactly enough halves to cover the cake perfectly and neatly! Mary does say that this recipe is very adaptable and you can use a variety of fruits, fresh or canned.
After adding the apricots I had to melt some butter. Now I actually needed melted butter; it of course took ages to melt! I poured the stubborn butter over the top of the apricots. Even though it wasn't really that much, when I poured the butter it seemed like gallons!! The surface of the cake and apricots can't have been very level as a vast quantity of butter made its way to the edges of the dish; the apricots in the corners were almost swimming! Last of all I needed to sprinkle some demerara sugar over the top. I was surprised by how much demerara sugar I needed. It really was a large amount; I was sprinkling it for some time! Once the sugar was on top, the pudding was ready for the oven. The oven was pre-heated to a very high temperature, but it still required just over half an hour to cook.
When I took the apricot pudding out of the oven I was a little disappointed as it looked a little overdone. Mary does say it should have a caramelized deep golden brown top, but think mine was a bit too brown! We tried a very small, warm piece with some ice cream. It was so hard to resist going back for more! The sponge base was so light and lemony, the topping had an almost toffee tasting crunch. All those different textures and tastes, thankfully, didn't overwhelm the delicate taste of apricots. Neil was surprised how little time it took me to make this pudding; it really was very straightforward. As our little boy was with his grandparents, we did manage to go out for a lovely meal. Nearing the end of his meal, Neil professed he could not fit in another mouthful. Funny how once home he managed to wolf down a huge portion of sticky apricot pudding and ice cream!!
|Fresh from the oven.|