Saturday, September 10, 2011

Greengage sponge

Figuring that a sponge pudding is simply a sponge cake, steamed rather than baked, I made this slightly raggedy but deliciously gungy effort according to the classic sponge recipe: in imperial measurements, four ounces each of butter, sugar, and flour, and two eggs. What worried me was the liquid from the greengages. But my batter was pretty stiff, and the greengages imparted the stickiness that you want in a pudding of this kind.

I realise that greengages are over now. You could use other kinds of plums, such as Victorias or damsons.

Serves 4.

115g butter
115g caster sugar
2 eggs
115g self-raising flour
1tsp vanilla essence
12 greengages (mine were small), halved and stoned

Cream the butter and sugar. I do this in a food processor: the mixture turns pale, then coheres into a ball, and then smears itself on the sides of the bowl. I stop at this point, and scrape it into a mixing bowl.

I cleaned the food processor bowl, fixed the whisk attachment, and whisked the eggs for about five minutes, until they had doubled in volume and were airy. Whether this effort to introduce more air to the sponge was worthwhile, I do not know. It is possible that the air bubbles collapse as soon as you stir the eggs with the other ingredients.

Pour the eggs into the creamed butter and sugar, tip in the flour, add the vanilla, and stir until you have a thick batter with no lumps. Gently stir in the greengage halves.

Grease a 1 pint pudding bowl with a little sunflower oil. Pour in the batter. Wrap the bowl in greaseproof paper, and then in three layers of foil.

Put the bowl into a saucepan. Pour in boiling water to come half way up the sides. Cover the pan, and simmer over a gentle heat for one hour.

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