It is Sugar High Friday time once again, and this month, our host is Zorra from Kochtopf. The theme chosen by Zorra is "The proof is in the pudding". As with the old proverb "The proof of the pudding is in the eating", Zorra asks us to make, test and eat a pudding for SHF.
I love pudding, so the challenge of this SHF was what to make when there are so many things to choose from! Eventually, after much soul searching, I chose Jamie Oliver's Orchard Eve's pudding from his latest book, Jamie at Home. The picture of the luscious pink fruit crowned by a golden sponge caught my eye, and as it is summer in the Antipodes, beautiful fruit is in abundance.
The resulting pudding is absolutely gorgeous - as you can see from the photos, the stewed fruit turns a delicate shade of pink, and the sponge cake permeates the fruit throughout the pan to form a lovely, light, fruity dessert. This is not a diet dessert - as the quantity of butter and sugar can attest - but in moderation, it really is a perfect accompaniment to dinner for a lazy summer evening out on the verandah. (Ed's note - Cakelaw does not have a verandah as she lives in an apartment sans balcony, but wouldn't it be grand ...)
What else can I say - make this dish! There is no higher commendation than that.
You will need:
1.5kg apples, pears, peaches and plums
1 tablespoon butter
100g brown sugar
a pinch each of ground ginger, nutmeg and cinnamon
3 bay leaves
200g butter, softened and cubed
200g sugar (I cut this down to about 120g, and it was fine)
200g self-raising flour, sifted
To prepare the fruit - peel and core the apples and pears, and slice them into wedges. (I have a great gadget from the $2 shop that cores and slices in one go and fits neatly into the gadget drawer). Peel and stone the peaches, and slice into 4 pieces (or more if you have large peaches). Halve and stone the plums - the skins should stay on, as these will give a lovely pinkish hue to the stewed fruit. Put the sliced fruit into a large saucepan with the tablespoon of butter, the brown sugar, the bay leaves and the spices, and simmer gently for about 20 minutes or until the fruit is soft.
For the sponge - Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Cream the butter and sugar in an electric mixer. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Take the bowl out of the mixer and fold in the flour using a wooden spoon, being careful as always not to overwork the mixture. Drain the stewed fruit, reserving the juices, and spoon half of it into a 20cm round baking dish. Spread the sponge batter on top of the fruit, then top with the remaining fruit. Bake the pudding in the oven for about 40 minutes or until the sponge is cooked.
To serve, spoon the reserved juices from the fruit over the top of the pudding, and if desired, serve with ice cream, cream, custard or yoghurt. Personally, I enjoyed this pudding by itself, allowing me to savour the juicy goodness of the fruit.
Thanks to Zorra for yet another great SHF theme, and stay tuned for the roundup.
Postscript: Zorra has posted the roundup of 72 scrumptious puddings here. Do go and check it out - you are sure to find something to tempt you.