Thursday, 4 February 2016

All about Eve and the Alcobaça apple

Eve´s pudding it was called, and every time my mother made it I would ask her who Eve was? "Eve's pudding is so named as the recipe uses apples" was one of her answers.This never satisfied my inquisitiveness. I had read in my children´s book about Adam and Eve and their sin and it would say that Adam and Eve ate an"apple" The Bible says fruit, but it never says there was an apple, but it really doesn't matter. The original sin was disobedience to God's command, and it leaves ground open for debate as to whether Eve´s Pudding was a biblical reference or whether there was a real latterday Eve who baked a cake which this was named after.Any way it´s all very British and as always nanny knows best.This is one of those puddings that take you back to the days when the cure for all ills came smothered in cream.Warm, milky rice pudding and a blob of red jam was as effective an ointment for a bad time as tea-tree cream was for a cut finger.I remember bland apple sponge from school dinners,but this was not one of those.
Eve´s pudding is one of those "lost nursery recipes that more than deserves a place in the twenty first century.Eve's pudding is a type of traditional British pudding now made from apples and Victoria sponge cake mixture. The apples are allowed to stew at the bottom of the baking dish while the cake mixture cooks on top.So still not having ascertained who the author of this pudding was, another question arises as to whether it is a cake or a pudding? Whatever you decide about Eves "pudding," it will fill every remaining crevice with sweet nannying stodge.The recipe I sourced said "sharp cooking apples".One would be hard pressed in Portugal to find what I assume the recipe meant to be Bramley apples.What I sourced however,in Lidl was some lovely Granny Smith apples from Alcobaça in the centre of Portugal.This reinforced for me the importance attached by Lidl to sourcing Portuguese products.
Apple growing in Alcobaça dates back to 1154, when Claraval monks settled in this region. The Alcobaça apple is famous for its sweetness, perfume and colour. Nowadays, you can find several varieties of this apple: Royal Gala, Delicious, Jonagold, Fuji, Casanova, Alcobaça, Golden Delicious, Granny Smith and Reineta Parda.The Alcobaça apple is produced in a small area formerly part the Estramadura region, which is characterized by a temperate climate with warm summers and cold winters. The apple has been classified PGI (Protected Geographical Indication) since 1994.
 

Eve´s pudding

750g sharp cooking apples
3-4 tbsp golden caster sugar
dash of cinnamon
dash of ground cloves

150g unsalted butter
130g caster sugar
2 large eggs
80g plain flour
1tsp baking powder
grated zest of 1 lemon
grated zest of 1 orange
80g ground almonds

Pre-heat oven to 180c /gas 4
Peel, core and cut the apples into rough chunks.Toss them in the sugar, cinnamon and cloves then put them in a pan with 3tbsp sugar and 2tbsp water.Bring to the boil,then lower the heat and let them cook for 10 minutes or so until they are soft but still retain their shape.
Meanwhile,cut the butter into pieces and put it the food processor with the sugar.Beat until light and fluffy,then break the eggs ,beat them lightly and add them to the butter and sugar.If they curdle briefly,add a tablespoon of the flour.
Mix the flour and baking powder together. Add the grated zest of the lemon and orange, flour and ground almonds to the mixture and continue mixing on a low speed till all the ingredients are thoroughly combined and you have a soft,smooth texture.
Pile the warm cooked apples into a deep pie dish or loose bottomed cake tin then smooth the cake mixture over the top. Bake in the pre-heated oven for 35-40 minutes until well risen and bubbling at the sides.
If you are not convinced about Eve´s pudding,try my more contemporary recipe for Granny Smith apple cake

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