Come, dear Reader, and let's grapple with an apple. My father told my mother that he married her because of her mother's Apple Pie. There is nothing quite like an Apple Pie to win the heart of a traditional male. It never fails. But one needs some variation and Miss Eagle is always on the look-out for dishes that meet the same criteria as the Apple Pie. These two recipes, the Boiled or Baked Apple Pudding (I steamed mine) and the Bread and Butter Apple Meringue Pudding, meet the criteria:
- traditional qualities
- substantial and filling
- full of flavour
From The Schauer Australian Cookery Book
Well grease a pudding basin with butter substitute. Coat well with brown sugar. Line basin with suet or short dripping crust. Fill basin 3 parts full with peeled, cored and thickly sliced apples. Mince 2 pieces of candied peel. Spread over apples with a grating of nutmeg. Cover with 1/2 cup of sultanas or currants and large tablespoon of butter substitute in small pieces. Cover closely with pastry lid pinching wet edges together well. Cook for 2 hours in slow oven or steam 3 hours.
When turned out has a nice brown crust and is delicious eating.
Miss Eagle's Notes
- There is nothing quite like suet or dripping as the fat component in a shortcrust pastry. Suet is particularly good in boiled puddings such as the Christmas Pudd in a cloth. However, I am no longer prepared to kill animals for this purpose and use butter or a substitute.
- The pastry I used was 6oz Plain Flour; 1 tablespoon of butter; 1 dessertspoon of lemon juice; salt; water.
- When stretching the pastry in and across the steamer, I put some of the apples in the base of the steamer to hold the pastry in place. I then stretched the pastry into place across the steamer. The apples, sultanas and candied peel (read mixed peel), were then added. I used all the apples I had and the steamer was probably more than three parts full. I then put the pastry lid on and tucked the pastry above the apples on the sides of the steamer in and around in a pinched edge.
- As the apples cook, they sink and this is responsible for the wrinkly look of the pudding.
BREAD AND BUTTER APPLE MERINGUE PUDDING
The basic format for this is the Bread and Butter Custard which itself is based on the traditional Baked Custard. Back in Miss Eagle's early life when imperial measure was all the go, Baked Custard was made with 1 pint of milk, 2 eggs, 2 or 3 tablespoons of sugar, and a capful of vanilla. These are the proportions I still use. Bread and Butter Custard is made by adding 2 slices of buttered bread cut into quarters. Queen Pudding is a further variation on the Baked Custard in that the eggs are separated and the whites whipped into a meringue with caster sugar. The Baked Custard when cooled is spread with jam and then topped with meringue and baked in a slow oven to lightly brown.
So to this variation. The dish in which I baked the Pudding is quite large. I used lots of apples - about 8 to 10 Granny Smith's although they were not large. Layer the apples with buttered bread cut into quarters sprinkling brown sugar and sultanas between as you go. I used 5 eggs, separated. Beat the yolks and milk together with vanilla. Fill to the brim. Sprinkle with grated nutmeg. Place Pudding dish in a baking dish of water and bake in a slow oven. When Pudding is baked and cool, spread with jam and cover with meringue made from the whites of the 5 eggs and caster sugar. Bake in a very slow oven until cooked and coloured. Absolutely scrumptious!