This must be one of the recipes I remember making most from our cookery lesson at primary school. Our neighbour Kay used to come in and help with the cooking classes and each week it would be a different year’s turn to make the recipe. Our primary school was tiny and only consisted of 40 pupils which was just as well as the kitchen was tiny too! I don’t know where the pudding originated from but for some reason I seem to think it was from Mrs Beeton.
With this year’s autumn apple harvest, I had a hankering to make it again and see if it tasted as homely and comforting as I remember. It is proper nursery food. Mum has still kept the recipe that I wrote out after we had made the pudding (I remember really hating that part of the lesson as it felt like such a chore) so she sent me a photo of it so I could recreate it, however it was a little tricky to decipher my childish handwriting with various spelling mistakes and splodges and watermarks spattered across it! However, it has turned out fine and I have done my best to put the method in some kind of order. The measurements were in pounds and ounces which I set my scales to but I have put rough translations into grams so hopefully it should work, but the general idea is that it is pureed apple and custard with soft meringue on top!
2lb/1Kg Bramley cooking apples
4oz/115g granulated sugar
2oz/55g caster sugar
1 pint/568ml milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
- Peel, core and slice the apples into thick slices. Place in a pan along with 3oz of granulated sugar and cook on a medium heat until the apple has gone completely soft into a pulp (like apple sauce).
- Put the apple mix into an ovenproof dish.
- Pre-heat the oven to 160C.
- Separate the egg white and yolks. Gently combine 1oz of granulated sugar with the egg yolks and then pour in the milk slowly and combine. Pour the mixture into a pan and set over a low heat and whisk continuously until it goes thicker and coats the back of a spoon. Do not let it over-boil and burn the milk.
- Whisk the egg whites in a bowl until stiff peaks form. Whisk in 1 tbsp of the caster sugar.
- Pour the custard over the apples and then pile the meringue mix on top of this and form lots of peaks. Scatter the remaining caster sugar over the meringue peaks.
- Bake in the oven for about 25 minutes until the meringue is golden on the top.