29 November, 2007

November recipe: Cinnamon apple pudding with hot fudge sauce

England probably has more varieties of apples than any other country in the world. The National Collection at Brogdale in Kent has 2300 different varieties, including cooking apples, easting apples and cider apples. Apples come in all shapes, sizes, colours, textures and flavours – see Lucy Ann White’s recent post for some examples.

Probably the apple is the basis of more hot puddings than any other fruit. Apple pie, apple crumble, Eve’s pudding, baked apples, apple dumplings – all of which have almost as many variations as there are cooks. Here’s a recipe for a steamed apple sponge pudding that’s simple to make and ideal on a cold day. I generally make it with cooking apples, but it will also work with eating apples.

Cinnamon apple pudding with hot fudge sauce (serves 4)

2 oz (approx 50 g) butter
2 oz (approx 50 g) caster sugar or light brown soft sugar
1 egg
4 oz (approx 100 g) self-raising flour
1 tsp (1 x 5 ml spoon) ground cinnamon
Milk to mix
4 oz (approx 100 g) apple, after peeling and coring

Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy (I use a wooden spoon and a bowl; you can use a food processor if preferred).
Beat the egg and mix in.
Stir in the flour and cinnamon.
Add about one tablespoon (approx 1 x 15 ml spoon) of milk and beat in. The mixture should have a soft dropping consistency (i.e. if you pick up a spoonful of the mixture then hold the spoon vertically, the mixture will slowly fall off the spoon). If it’s too stiff (i.e. if it won’t fall off the spoon) add a little more milk. Yes, this is very approximate, so don’t worry too much about getting it just right.
Grate the apple or chop it finely, and stir into the mixture.
Put in a greased pudding basin, cover with foil, and steam for about 1 hour.
Turn the pudding out of the bowl and serve hot with custard or hot fudge sauce.

Hot fudge sauce (serves 4)

2 oz (approx 50 g) butter
2 oz (approx 50 g) soft brown sugar
Few drops vanilla essence (optional)
2.5 fl. oz (approx 70 ml) single cream

Put all the ingredients in a saucepan over a low heat and stir until the butter has melted and the sugar dissolved.
Bring to the boil, and boil gently for two or three minutes.
Pour over the sponge pudding.

If there is any pudding and/or sauce left over, both can be reheated the following day. The pudding can be frozen.

There are any number of variations. Here are a few you could try:

Apple and sultana pudding: Add 1-2 oz (approx 25-50 g) of sultanas to the sponge along with the apples.
Apple and almond pudding: Substitute 1 oz (approx 25 g) of ground almonds for the same amount of flour, and miss out the cinnamon. Add a few flaked almonds as well if you like.
Spiced apple pudding: Substitute ground mixed spice for the cinnamon.


Constance Brewer said...

This sounds wonderful! - and easy. *busily copies recipe*

virtual nexus said...

Oh well, I suppose if I stick on this phyto diet for a week....
sounds delicious. (Furtively copying recipes).

Not been to Brogdale but often call in at Bedgebury Nat. Pinetum Kent.

Quick query from spouse - re early Christian places of worship - was there a tendency to build over pagan shrines to 'reclaim' them or was it more syncretism?

Carla said...

Constance - it is, on both counts :-) Hope you enjoy it.

Julie - why be furtive? Just make it serve 6 or 8 instead of 4 if you're bothered about calorie count :-)

Quick query from spouse - I'll do my best, but there isn't really a quick answer. First question, early Christianity in what context? I don't know very much about the Near East or the Med, for example. Within Britain, early Christianity as in Christianity during the Late Roman period, or as in Augustine's mission to Kent and the subsequent developments? I think they may be subtly different. Late Roman Christian plces of worship fall into three groups, the 'house church' as at Lullingstone, which tend to be sited in the home of someone rich enough to afford them; churches in towns; and churches that grew up around the tomb of a (real or imagined) martyr, which tend to be sited in cemeteries and thus just outside towns (Roman cemeteries are commonly found alongside big main roads; there was a rule against burying people inside towns.) I don't know whether we have a big enough sample to have real evidence - I doubt it - but as far as I know there was no clear association between ex-pagan temple sites and Romano-British churches. E.g. the big pilgrimage-type sites at Lydney and Uley went out of use around the turn of 4th/5th C and weren't turned into Christian sites, and the big temple at Colchester was turned into the foundations of the later medieval castle. There's a theory that many holy wells and holy springs had previously been Romano-British sacred sites, but although that sounds very plausible I'm not sure how testable it is. I would see Late Roman Christianity and Late Roman paganism getting on alongside one another, with a steady drift of people from pagan to Christian and a corresponding decline in pagan sites as the money dried up, rather than as one religion deliberately trying to displace the other. There's some indication of syncretism, eg someone threw a curse tablet into the big pagan shrine at Bath but cheerfully identified himself on it as a Christian. No idea how common this was, but it seems plausible that a society used to polytheism would have little difficulty accommodating a new god - Roman religion allowed anyone to make up whatever religion they liked as long as they didn't harm others, so they were used to new gods - and may have taken a while to take the bigger step of abandoning the old ones.
Early Christianity in 'Anglo-Saxon' England - The Pope's letter to Bishop Mellitus in 610 or so advises him to adapt pagan temples to Christian places of worship, for the sound prgamatic reason that people will more readily accept a new religion if you don't change too much at once. Hope-Taylor reckoned the temple he excavated at Yeavering in Northumberland had been converted in just this way. We also know from Bede that King Raedwald of East Anglia had shrines to the Christian and pagan gods in the same temple - Bede thoroughly disapproved, naturally - which is consistent with Raedwald having simply added an altar to the new god alongside the old ones. So there's a definite example of syncretism (see comment above re polytheistic religions). If someone later took away the old gods, the temple would de facto have been converted into a church. Conversely, Bede also tells us that elsewhere in Northumbria the pagan temple was razed and a Christian church built in York, most probably in the courtyard of the Roman military headquarters somewhere underneath the present Minster. So, as usual, it was patchy, complicated and variable!
Does this help?

virtual nexus said...

Carla, my husband's particular interest is in the Celtic Christian influence from Iona and Lindisfarne. He found your reply very interesting and helpful, and would like to thank you for it; especially how you have drawn out the element of ambiguity running though the whole subject.

It would be stimulating to do a one off seminar or group discussion based on this. I would personally like to visit some of the more accessible sites you have referred to gain a more rounded understanding.

Thanks again; J

Meghan said...

One word: YUM!

Bernita said...

Yes, Megumi...and I just cooked a pork roast yesterday.

Carla said...

Julie - Your husband's welcome, and I'm glad he found the reply interesting. Irish monastic Christianity had a liking for island sites, famously Iona and Lindisfarne, and while it's possible that such places may have been revered by earlier religions, I don't think there's much, if any, evidence for it. It may be worth bearing in mind that although Iona and Lindisfarne seem very remote and away from it all today, that may not have been quite the case when they were founded, when sea transport was the fastest mode of long-distance travel.
Re a discussion, the thread here will stay open indefinitely, if that's any help. I could move my comment into a new post with a more descriptive title, to save having to remember to look for early Christianity under an apple pudding recipe!

Megumi - that's a fair description.

Bernita - pork and apples again?

virtual nexus said...

Carla, thanks ever so much. I've already saved this offline as a ref. and kept the date if I need to find, so that's ok.

Appreciate from BBC history site that these may well have been thriving communities given the trading links.

Carla said...

Iona and Lindisfarne must have been thriving, or the Vikings wouldn't have bothered with them, I guess :-)

virtual nexus said...

....Did you notice the Viking Quest game on the BBC site for youngsters?
(Raiding Lindisfarne).

Carla said...

Hadn't seen that - I shall have to go and look!

Elizabeth Chadwick said...

Sounds very tempting. I especially like the detail of the fudge sauce!

Carla said...

Elizabeth - I invented the pudding largely as an excuse to make the fudge sauce more often!