I owe this recipe to my friend and great cookery writer Lucas Hollweg. As no great pudding maker, I asked him in desperation to come up with a fail-safe recipe – this is it. With his blessing, I may have faffed around with the flavours but it never fails and always impresses!
It’s what I will serving at the first of my Pop-Up Feasts – do join me
400g Bramley apples (3-4 depending on size), peeled and roughly sliced
2 handfuls raisins
finely grated rind of 2 lemons
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
2 tbs Somerset Cider Brandy
250g light brown or light muscovado sugar
250g self-raising flour
A gernerous handful of flaked almonds
Grease a 23cm cake tin (preferably hinged spring-form – it makes life so much easier) and line the bottom with baking paper. Preheat the oven to 180C/Gas Mark 4.
Put the apples in a bowl with the raisins, lemon rind, cinnamon and nutmeg. Add the Somerset Cider Apple Brandy (Calvados or a strong cider will do), stir carefully and leave to infuse.
Meanwhile put the butter and 200g of sugar in a saucepan and stir over a gentle heat until the butter has melted and the sugar dissolved. Quickly sift in the flour and beat in the eggs. Don’t worry how it looks, – it’s certainly not like a normal cake mixture but it works!
Spread half the mixture over the bottom of the cake tin, then tip in the sliced apple mixture and spread on top. Scatter with the remaining sugar then spread the remaining cake mixture over the top, smoothing it out as best you can. Scatter with the flaked almonds and put the tin in the oven for 40-50 minutes until it’s a deep gold and firm to the touch.
Have a look after 30 minutes and cover the top with a bit of foil if it’s browning too quickly. Remove from the oven and leave to stand in then tin for 10-15 mins, then turn out and cool on a rack for at least quarter of an hour. It’s best served while still just warm with lashings of cream