Apple and Nutmeg Mini Sponge Puddings
By Angela Patel, Freelance Recipe Editor
Around this time of year my lovely neighbour always leaves a bag of home grown apples from her garden on my doorstep. I’m not quite sure what variety they are and some can look a little bashed and bruised but with a bit of time and prep they are great for sauces, puddings and pies.
This recipe is a favourite of mine; sweet caramelized apple slices partnered with a delicious nutmeg-spiced sponge. Serve with a drizzle of caramel sauce and a dollop of crème fraiche and you have the perfect Autumn pudding!
Kitchen tools needed: Cole & Mason Wallis Nutmeg Grinding Mill 7cm
Prep: 30 mins
Cook: 50 mins
Makes: 6 puddings
- 175g unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
- 2 small eating apples, peeled, cored and sliced
- 75g dark muscovado sugar
- 100g golden caster sugar
- 3 large eggs, beaten
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 150g self-raising flour
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp freshly ground nutmeg, ground in the Cole & Mason Nutmeg Grinding Mill
- 1-2 tbsp milk
- Warm caramel sauce (see Tips), crème fraiche and extra ground nutmeg, to serve
1. Preheat the oven to 190°C/170°C fan/Gas Mark 5. Thoroughly grease 6 x 175ml individual pudding basins with the extra butter.
2. Melt 25g of the butter in a large non-stick frying pan over a medium-high heat. Add the apple slices and 25g of the muscovado sugar and cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring, until the sugar has dissolved. Let the mixture bubble for 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally until the apple slices are tender, golden and caramelized.
3. Divide the apple slices between the pudding basins, spooning over any syrup left in the pan.
4. To make the sponge, place the remaining butter and muscovado sugar in a large mixing bowl. Add the caster sugar and beat with a hand-held electric mixer for 2-3 minutes until pale and creamy. Gradually add the eggs, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla extract.
5. Sift over the flour and baking powder and fold into the mixture with the ground nutmeg. Fold in enough of the milk to give a soft dropping consistency. Divide the mixture evenly between the pudding basins. Cover each with a square of pleated, buttered foil, scrunching it tightly around the edges. Place the basins in a roasting tin and pour in enough just boiled water to come halfway up the sides of the basins.
6. Bake the puddings for 35-40 minutes or until risen, firm to the touch and a wooden skewer inserted into one of the puddings comes out clean. Leave for 5 minutes then turn out the puddings onto warmed serving plates (see Tips). Drizzle with warm caramel sauce and serve with a dollop of crème fraiche and a sprinkling of ground nutmeg.
For a quick caramel sauce to serve with the puds, gently heat 50g unsalted butter with 75g light muscovado sugar in a small non-stick saucepan, stirring, until the sugar dissolves. Simmer for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally, then remove from the heat and stir in 75ml double cream until smooth. Add a pinch of salt flakes to the sauce, if liked.
Run the tip of a small palette knife around the edge of each pudding to loosen the sponge from the basin, then holding the hot basin with a tea towel quickly invert onto a serving plate. If the pudding sticks a little gently ease it out with the palette knife.
The cold baked puddings can be frozen for up to 2 months. Defrost for 2-3 hours then reheat in the microwave.