Winter is the perfect time to bake an old-fashioned apple pudding. This spicy pudding is best served hot with home-made custard and whipped cream.
Origins of My Apple Pudding Recipe
Although the title of this blog mentions highschool, I didn’t actually have the apple pudding recipe back then. Because I was a science nerd I didn’t do home economics at highschool during the mid-1970’s. I actually started baking this apple pudding in the mid-1990’s.
Day to Day Cookery for Home Craft Students
When I baked the pudding last weekend, I looked up the hand-written recipe in my circa 1980’s hard-cover exercise book. The pages are stained and the cover is falling off. I keep promising myself that I will scan the pages. But of course I never get around to it. Then I started to muse about the provenance of my faithful old recipe…
Tucked away at the back of my pantry is a 1968 highschool text book called Day to Day Cookery for Home Craft Students. This compilation of recipes by Miss Isla M. Downes, a Queensland teacher at the time, was the set text used in many Home Economics classes. My book was originally owned by my cousin then given to my grandmother. So I find myself looking at my grandmother’s beautiful script on the inside front page; “F Green 67 Main Road, Maroochydore”. This text has been the inspiration for many of my day-to-day home meals, including the baked apple pudding.
Fourth Edition Still Available
This mighty little cook book still has an internet presence. Apparently the original 1st edition can be borrowed from the National Library of Australia. The most recent fourth edition (2002) can also be borrowed from a number of regional Australian libraries or purchased on-line. The latest edition has been co-authored by Elaine Grant and includes revised recipes. My original edition has $1.50 written on the inside cover page; but you can buy the 4E for just $56!
My Baked Apple Pudding Recipe
My Version of Pineapple Upside Down Cake
I recall one night in ~1994 looking through my much-loved Day to Day Cookery looking for an indulgent pudding to go with hot custard. There on page 110 was my answer – Pineapple Upside Down Cake. Of course I didn’t have any tinned pineapple, but I did have apples. Anyway I much prefer apples. Over the years I have modified the recipe substantially. So you can be forgiven for not recognising the 1968 version of this cake.
- 120 g salt-free butter cut into small cubes
- 1 cup of brown sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1/4 cup of whole milk
- 1 cup self-raising flour mixed with 2 teaspoons of mixed spices
- 2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon
- 6 Granny Smith apples (or other crisp, sharp-tasting apples)
The apple pudding is at its best eaten freshly baked straight from the oven. So I usually get my ingredients prepared early in the day or even the night before. In this way, I can quickly mix the dry and wet ingredients together and get the cake in the oven, while I prepare the rest of the evening meal.
First up you should prepare the apples by peeling off the skin, then slicing them. I find the pudding is better if you pre-cook the apples too. So you can add the sliced apples to a microwave dish sprinkle over a small volume of water, then microwave cook for a few minutes. The apples should be soft.
Cream the soft butter and brown sugar together. Then using a spatula take about half the caramel mixture and layer it onto the bottom of the pudding bowl. Next you can layer the cooked apples over the caramel and sprinkle the apples with ground cinnamon. Add all the apple juice, too. The extra liquid will soak up into the cake layer.
Putting the Apple Pudding Together
When you are ready to bake the cake, you can beat the eggs and milk together and gradually mix them along with the flour into remainder of the caramel mixture. Using the spatula you can layer the cake batter on top of the stewed apples.
Bake the apple pudding at a moderate temperature (about 175 deg C) for 30 to 40 minutes. The cake is cooked when the surface feels bouncy and a fine skewer comes out clean.
I usually whip up some fresh cream and make some boiled custard to add to the apple pudding. Of course I use the boiled custard recipe from the Day to Day Cookery book! We are lucky to have own chooks and their deep orange yolks make exceptional custard.
Post-Script: My Mothers’ legacy
I just realised that my photos include pottery given to me by both my mothers – my Mum and my partner’s Mum!
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