Monday, 14 February 2011

Bird's Nest - Another Apple Pudding

I've been interested in a recipe from The Canadian Home Cook Book of 1877* for a number of years, and have finally gotten around to trying it. Actually I more took the idea, which was to cook apples in a Yorkshire pudding batter, and ran with it. Recipe as follows:


Mrs. F. M. Cragin
Pare six or eight large apples (Spitzenbergs or Greenings are best), and remove the core by cutting from the end down the middle, so as to leave the apple whole, except where the core has been removed; place them as near together as they can stand with the open part upward in a deep pie-dish; next make a thin batter, using one quart sweet milk, three eggs with sufficient flour, and pour it into the dish around the apples, also filling the cavities in them; bake them in a quick oven; eat them with butter and sugar. "
Ya gotta love old recipes that can give you wildly detailed directions for coring the apples, but can't tell you how much flour to use.

The original, you'll note, does not include any leavening as it is basically a Yorkshire pudding, and Yorkshire pudding doesn't have any. However after a bit of experimenting I decided to add some. The original way was fine while the pudding was hot, but the leftovers were unbearably stodgy. (Well, not completely unbearably I guess, since we ate 'em, but not really ideal.) I also decided to bake the "butter and sugar" into the budding, and start with hot, mostly baked apples when the batter goes into the pan, in accordance with the advice in just about every modern Yorkshire pudding recipe to put the batter in a very hot pan and bake it fast, and also to make sure those apples get cooked through.

I used Empire apples and they worked well, and were a nice size - not too big.

6 to 8 servings
1 hour - 30 minutes prep time

Make the Batter:
3/4 cup soft (pastry) unbleached flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1/2 cup milk
1 tablespoon melted butter

Put the flour, sugar and salt in a mixing bowl, and stir to blend. Add the eggs and milk, and whisk well. Melt the butter and whisk it into the mixture. The batter should be very smooth. Set this aside to rest for at least half an hour while you prepare the apples.

Bake the Apples:
6 to 8 medium-small apples
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/3 cup dark maple syrup

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Peel the apples, and cut out the cores. Put them in a snug baking dish with the butter, broken up into little lumps and sprinkled amongst them. Drizzle the maple syrup over them.

Bake the apples for 30 minutes, or until they are fairly soft.

Finish the Pudding:
1 teaspoon baking powder

When the timer goes off for the apples, take them out of the oven and turn it up to 425°F. Whisk the baking powder into the batter, and pour it evenly over and into the apples, scraping the bowl out well. Return the pan to the oven at once and bake for a further 20 minutes. Best served warm, especially if you decide you want a more authentically Yorkshire pudding-like pudding, and leave the baking powder out.

Last year at this time I made Sprout Salad with Wild Rice, Carrot & Mushrooms, and Ras el-Hanout Hummus.

*Complied by Ladies of Toronto and Chief Cities and Towns in Canada. Tried! Tested! Proven!


Erndog said...

Hi you suppose I could just use whole wheat pastry flour instead? It's all I've got and with all the other flours crowding our fridge I'm loathe to buy yet another! :-) Thanks!

Joanne said...

Such an interesting and delicious post....looks so yummy!

Ferdzy said...

Thanks, Joanne!

And Erin, yes, I think whole wheat flour would be fine. I actually used plain for the opposite reason you did - I'm out of the whole wheat at the moment.

Erndog said...

Thanks! Looking forward to trying it out before the Texas heat is back full force. :-)