Thursday, November 08, 2007

Baked apple sponge

Sometimes, aspects of recipes do not work entirely as they should, but are flavoursome anyway. So it was when I tried Nigel Slater's Baked Apple Sponge. (The recipe is here, if you scroll down.)

It was to follow a roast lunch. I might have put it into the oven when the main course came out; but sometimes one is ready for pudding in less than 40 minutes. So I put it on to the floor of the oven while the potatoes were roasting, at a high heat, above it. When the potatoes were crisp, I turned down the heat to the specified temperature of gas mark 4/180C, and put the pudding on to the middle shelf.

The sponge emerged brown and firm on top; but, perhaps because I had messed around with the cooking temperature, some of the mixture had merged with the apples. No matter: they gained a deliciously buttery, almondy richness.

For the apple base, I used four Coxes and four Russets. I peeled, quartered, cored and sliced them; I put a large knob of butter into a heavy pan on a low heat, throwing in the apples as each was ready and putting on the lid. I added a splash of water every now and again. When all the apples were in the pan, I uncovered it, turned up the heat to medium, threw in just a dstsp of caster sugar with a little cinnamon and two cloves, and cooked the apples until they were softened but retained their shapes.

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