Monday, 12 June 2017

Apple sponge (pudding)

It was always "apple sponge" in my childhood.  And it was often apple sponge for dessert.  I add pudding to the name for those who think sponge is a light fluffy cake (as in Australia) or a dense buttery cake (as in the UK).  It is a dish I only make in winter when the cold dark nights demand a warm baked pudding like my mum used to make.

Though to be honest, as a child I always resented having apple sponge rather than apricot sponge.  Now I appreciate that stewed apples are far more practical than stewed apricots.  This dessert makes me nostalgic for nights waiting at the table with my siblings as my mum's big serving spoon dug into the steaming pudding.  I don't make puddings much.  Fortunately the tradition continues because my mum still makes apple sponge for Sylvia.  And it was Sylvia who requested I make apple sponge for dessert.

I sliced up apples to stew for the pudding while I chatted to a friend.  A kilogram seemed heaps.  I told Sylvia that there would be stewed apple leftover.  But there wasn't.  I like a decent amount of fruit in my pudding.  Just like E loves some cream or ice cream with his.  (I don't!)  We ate ours with ice cream (custard is also good).  It was delicious.  After we had finished a few sneaky spoons made their way into the dish.

I had to make more stewed apple the next day.  It was quite a lot of apple and took a while to bring it to the boil.  The first time I simmered it for 5 minutes after it boiled.  It was quite mushy, especially once it had been baking.  The second time I turned off the heat after it boiled and the apple sliced kept their shape.  I slice mine quite thinly like my mum used to (2-3mm thick).

I made the apple sponge vegan because that was what we had in the house.  I wish I could take some better photos but I will always make this pudding when the nights are dark in winter.  And it is usually such a palaver making warm puddings (because I don't do it often) that I end up serving them late and in a hurry.  So these photos will do and this post will remind me how to make it next time it is requested.

More of mum's desserts on Green Gourmet Giraffe blog:
Apricot crumble
Apricot sponge (v)
Bread and butter pudding
Chocolate pudding (v)
Golden syrup dumplings (v)
Rice pudding (gf, v)

Apple Sponge Pudding
From my mum
Serves 4

65g softened butter or margarine
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg or 1 flax egg
3/4 cup self-raising flour
1/4 cup milk
stewed apples (see below)

Mix the butter, sugar, egg, flour and milk to make a thick batter.  Spread stewed apples at the bottom of a greased medium sized baking dish. Spoon the batter over the apples and smooth. Bake for 45 minutes at 180 C till the batter is cooked (check with a skewer).

Stewed apples

1 kg apples
1/2 cup water 
2 heaped tsp sugar, or to taste
1 tbsp lemon juice
shake of cinnamon

Peel, quarter, core and slice apples.  Place in a large saucepan with remaining ingredients.  The sweetness may need adjusting depending on the apples.  Bring to the boil.  Turn off the heat and leave to cool.

NOTES: I made this vegan by using a flax egg (1 tbsp ground flaxseed or linseed meal plus 3 tbsp water).  I used soy milk, brown sugar and half white, half wholemeal flour.  If your apples are not warm from stewing, put them in the baking dish and heat in the oven while you make the batter.  Cold apples will mean a longer cooking time.  I had a bit of liquid in my stewed apples and worried it would not work for the apple sponge but they were fine.  I stewed granny smith apples.

On the Stereo:
Le sac des Filles: Camille


  1. Yum, apple sponge is a classic. Yours looks great.

  2. I've never seen an apple sponge pudding-lots of golden syrup and lemon but not apple before. Needless to say I'm intrigued enough to want to make one! :D

    1. Thanks Lorraine - they were bog standard dessert in my childhood so I found them boring but have come to love them now they are less common for me

  3. Oh this takes me back! My mum used to make Eve's pudding (is that just a UK name for it?) regularly when we were kids, and I loved it. It was such a comforting recipe. I'm loving your vegan version. I need to go out, get some custard and make up a big batch.

    1. Thanks Joey - I forgot they are like Eve Pudding - wonder if they have the same origins - definitely would be great with custard

  4. Oh yes! Simple, homely and perfect for this time of year. I can see myself going the flax egg route too.

    1. Thanks Cindy - the flax egg worked really well - has made me feel more confident about substituting it - and yes this is one for winter

  5. Delicious - and such a perfect winter dessert. We had various apple desserts in childhood too, although generally apple crumble or some variant thereof (apple charlotte, apple crumble with weetbix!).

    1. Thanks Kari - apple crumble with weetbix sounds fun - we had lots of apple crumbles and pies but never a charlotte

  6. You can't beat a lovely apple pudding, especially when the weather cools..... We have been basking in the 30's this week, but I guess it may be a little cooler where you are?


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