Monday, 15 April 2013

P is for Pudding

Another weekend is behind us, and two bakes went down well as puddings with requests for seconds on both occasions so here are the two recipes:

Plum Pudding Cake

Two packs of plums (4-5 plums per pack)
9 oz all-purpose (plain) flour
2 teaspns baking powder
10 oz caster sugar
3 large eggs
¼ cup milk
2 teaspns vanilla essence

2 oz ground almonds (almond meal)
2 tblspns soft butter

Preheat the oven to 165°C (fan assisted, 180°C if not) and line a 9" tin.  I use 8" inserts from Lakeland and just smooth the paper to cover the bottom of the tin (the edges are still just tall enough).  Much quicker!

Take each plum and cut into it with the tip of your knife going into the flesh where the dimple is at the top of your plum.
Cut around the entire circumference with your knife through to the stone around to your starting point.
Holding the plum by its two halves (one half in each hand) wiggle the top so that it comes away from the stone.
Prize the stone out from the bottom piece of plum with your index finger and chop each half into quarters.

Sift the flour and baking powder into a mixing bowl and then add the sugar, eggs, milk and vanilla essence. Mix gently until all is just combined.  This can be done in a machine, but on a slow speed.
Then fold in the plum bits gently by hand using a metal spoon, taking care not to break up the fruit.  It's a bit daunting at this point as there's about two thirds fruit to one third batter. But this is normal.
Spoon the mix into your prepared tin and gently poke the pieces of fruit down till the mixture is vaguely flat.

Then dust over the almond meal/ground almonds covering all the cake mixture.  Take your tablespoons full of softened butter and pinch off little bits and dot over the almonds.  The smaller the bits, the less large dark spots you'll see on your cooked cake.

Pop in the oven for around 45-50 minutes.
Before taking the crumb test with a skewer, jiggle the tin gently to see if your cake wobbles in the middle. If it does then it needs another 5 minutes.
Take out of the oven once cooked, leave to stand for 10 minutes or so and then remove the tin.
Leave till cool and then serve.

Unfortunately because of the fruit this cake doesn't keep. It really needs to be eaten on the day it's cooked otherwise the cake and crust goes soggy.  What a shame!  And you can use any stone fruit. Apricots, cherries, nectarines and peaches all work well though I must weigh the fruit sometime to replicate again with cherries as last time there was too little fruit after I got bored de-stoning cherries...

Fresh Lemon Slices 

Note: You really do need a food possessor for this recipe.

150 grms all-purpose (plain) flour
50 grms superfine (caster) sugar
115 grms butter, melted
1 teaspn vanilla essence
Pinch salt

1 lemon (unwaxed*), cut in chunks to remove the pips
200 grms caster sugar
45 mls lemon juice
50 grms butter, melted
3 large eggs
1 heaped tblspn corn flour
Pinch of salt

Icing sugar for dusting
Double cream to serve

Preheat the oven to 165°C (fan assisted, 180°C if not), putting a baking sheet on the shelf on which the mix will sit.
Line and grease a 20 cm square (deep) cake tin allowing two edges of the baking paper to overhang so you can decant the contents neatly at the end.
In your food possessor, whizz the first set of ingredients until they just start to come together.
Empty the soggy-looking crumbs into your prepared tin and gently pat out to evenly cover the bottom of the tin, pushing into the edges.
Pop the tin on the hot sheet in the oven for 25 minutes or until a golden colour.  The sheet helps the bottom of the pastry base crisp up.  No soggy bottoms here!
Put the timer on.

Towards the end of the cooking time for the sweet pastry, clean out your food possessor and then in the bowl whizz up the sugar, salt, lemon pieces (skin, pith, flesh, just no pips) and the juice until the batter is smooth. There will be a few very small flecks of lemon but this is fine.
Add in the rest of the second list ingredients and whizz again until all is combined.
When the pinger goes on your timer, take the pastry out and turn down the oven to 140°C (fan assisted, 150°C if not).
Pour the lemon mix over the pastry and pop back in the oven.
Bake for a further 25 minutes or until the lemon mix is just set.
Remove the tin from the oven, leave to cool for 10 minutes or so and then lift the paper carefully out of the tin and quickly onto a cooling rack.
Once cool, cut into smallish portions and serve with a dusting of sugar and some cream on the side

Warning.  This is quite tart (hence the portion sizes) but I find it's nice after a heavy meal.

* If you can only find waxed, not to worry.  Dissolve a couple of teaspoons of bicarbonate of soda in water that's just come off the boil and bung in the lemon.  Keep submerged with a spoon for up to five minutes. Pick out with the spoon and then clean off any remaining wax with a scrubbing brush under the hot water tap with your marigolds on to stand hot water to melt off the last of the wax.  You'll be done when the lemon isn't shiny.

No comments:

Post a Comment