I adapted this pudding from a recipe in Olive magazine. The magazine version suggests you use four small pudding basins, and do the cooking in a microwave. It is also a little unclear on the quantities of butter and sugar.
You want the apples to hold their shape. The Coxes that are just starting to come into the shops should work. Serves four.
6 apples, peeled, quartered, cored, and held in acidulated water
150 g butter
150 g caster sugar
2 eggs, beaten
125 g self-raising flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
Over a gentle flame and in a large saucepan or frying pan, heat 50 g of the butter and 50 g of the sugar until bubbling, then throw in the drained apple quarters and cook slowly until they start to caramelise.
Mash up the remaining butter and sugar until the mixture is creamy. If you work by hand, rather than with an electric beater, you need to press at the mixture with a spoon, smearing it against the side of the bowl and then stirring again, until you have produced a lighter substance. Stir in the eggs. Do not worry if the mixture looks lumpy and curdled: stir in the flour and baking powder, which will help to smooth it. But it will be stiff. Loosen it with a little milk, until you arrive at a gloopy -- Olive uses the word "spoonable" -- consistency.
Butter a pudding basin. Arrange the apples in the bottom; pour the sponge mixture over them. Insulate the basin -- I surround it with kitchen paper, and then with three layers of foil. Put it into an appropriately sized saucepan or casserole, pour in boiling water from the kettle to come half way up the sides, and steam the pudding for an hour and a quarter. It needs cream, or custard.