Apple Sponge Pudding

Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 40-45 minutes
Serves 6-8

Poached fruits of any season, cooked under a downy layer of sponge and served with a generous pouring of fresh cream, is a classic family pudding that is far easier to make than may be expected. There's no need for a flash pudding dish to cook a sponge pudding in, as it can easily be baked in an oven-proof frying pan.

Ingredients

3-4 cups stewed fruit 
125 grams butter, at room temperature 
1/2 cup sugar, caster is ideal if you have it 
1 teaspoon vanilla or lemon essence 
2 eggs, at room temperature 
1 cup self-raising flour, sifted 
2-3 tablespoons milk 

Method

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Place the stewed fruit into a 24cm round or 6 cup-capacity frying pan (or oven proof dish) and place in the oven while the oven is warming up. The fruit needs to be hot when the sponge is placed on top. 

Beat the butter, sugar and essence together until very light in colour and creamy in texture. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Sift the flour and fold into the creamed mixture alternately with the milk. The batter should drop reluctantly from the spoon. Add a touch more milk if required. 

Dot the batter all over the hot fruit, then using a spatula, spread out the batter so that it covers the fruit evenly.

Bake in the preheated oven for 40-45 minutes or until the sponge has a golden colour and is firm to the touch, when pressed with a finger in the centre of the sponge. Serve hot or warm. Delicious when accompanied with cream or custard! 

Cook's Tips

The recipe calls for stewed fruit, which is really easy. Prepare fruit peeling, coring or removing the stone where needed before slicing. Place the prepared fruit in a frying pan with a little sugar and a dash of water, cover and simmer for about 10 minutes or until the fruit is soft. Canned fruit can also be used.

In place of self-raising flour, use 1 cup plain flour and 1 teaspoon baking powder.

Vary the pudding with different fruits and add spices such as ginger or cinnamon to the sponge topping - allow about 1 teaspoon and sift with the flour.