Recipe Number One Hundred & Sixteen: Page 344.
This recipe was the out and out winner of my Facebook Poll. It does appear that offerings containing either lemon or apple are particularly popular and, when combined together, it is just too tempting! Mary describes this sponge as being similar to an Eve's Pudding. This certainly had my attention as I do like a good Eve's Pudding and it has been far too long since my last helping.
Happily I didn't need to buy many ingredients as I already had most of what was necessary. I did, however, pop to the shop to get some single cream. Rather frustratingly the standard size was not quite enough, so I had to get two. Mary advises that when buying lemon curd only the best will do; it has to contain butter, sugar and lemons. I was relieved that our little shop even stocked lemon curd so I wasn't fussed that it was a cheap variety; beggars can't be choosers! I came home armed with two pots of cream and a jar of inferior lemon curd. I decided to crack on and make the pudding and was so looking forward to eating the finished result!
To make the sauce (which lies underneath the sponge top), I had to measure the cream into a bowl. It seemed like such a lot, almost enough to paddle in! As I placed tablespoonfuls of lemon curd in with the cream I regretted not making my own. I've made it once before using Ruth from the Pink Whisk's delicious recipe. Seeing how much I was adding to the bowl it would have been worth making. Just a couple of tablespoons of sugar were all that was needed to give the sauce a touch more sweetness. Last of all, I added in a tablespoon of plain flour and beat the mixture together. I scanned the recipe again and realised it was supposed to have been only a teaspoon of flour – whoops! Well, it said a heaped teaspoon, so hopefully I'd get away with it!!
Next I moved on to the boring and long winded exercise of peeling, coring and very thinly slicing the cooking apples. Mary uses the mandolin cutter on her food processor. I do not own such a luxury, so had to use my own two hands and of course a sharp knife. I imagine it would have been a lot quicker with a processor! I gently stirred the apples into the creamy mixture before pouring into my ovenproof dish. Even though the dish was the correct size, suddenly it didn't look like it was going to be big enough!
I of course had yet to finish, as I still needed to make the sponge topping. This was nice and straightforward. I cracked several eggs into a bowl along with a good helping of self raising flour. I had stupidly left the butter next to the hot oven to soften - as I had underestimated the time this bake would take; it had been sitting there for rather a long time. As I picked up the packet, melted butter dripped frantically and spilled all over the floor! I had to gallop over to the sink to try to stem the flow! I had to disregard a lot of the butter as it was of course ruined! Thank goodness I had just enough vaguely solid butter to use. I measured out the same amount of sugar and also tipped in a little milk. I didn't want to wake my little boy up by using my noisy electric whisk (our walls our like tracing paper) so resorted to my balloon whisk. This may have been as quiet as a mouse, but my goodness it was hard work. Even with the VERY soft butter it was still a stiff mixture and took a lot of elbow grease to get it almost smooth, I couldn't really be bothered to get it perfectly smooth! As gently as I could I smoothed the sponge mixture over the cream and apples. I was even more certain the dish wasn't big enough; the mixture was threatening to spill over the top. As the pudding would be cooked in the oven on top of a hot baking tray at least it would catch any spillages. Last of all, I sprinkled some Demerara sugar over the surface and then placed it into the moderate oven.
After 30 minutes cooking time, I had to cover it over with some foil and cook for another 45 minutes – how cruel to make me wait so long! Eventually the baked apple sponge was ready to come out of the oven. I really couldn't believe there were no spillages; I should never have doubted Mary! The top of the sponge was a dark golden brown and firm to the touch. I restrained myself for 10 minutes and then eagerly grabbed a bowl and spoon! My generous helping of pudding was gone in less than a minute – it was delicious. The sponge was well risen and light; the apples were perfectly cooked with no hint of mushiness! The lemon cream sauce was utterly divine. The flavour of lemon was evident but subtle and the cream made it beautifully creamy and rich. This has be my favourite pudding so far – yum!