Cain’s Pudding

Food to me is much more than….well food!  It is more than sustenance, more than culture; it is a very personal form of expression and a great boundary breaker.  You can learn a lot about someone by what they eat.  Smell and taste are primal.  Some people are explorers of these senses, some not so much.  I think I fall somewhere in the middle, but am usually looking for ways to learn more about all of it.

If someone would have asked me last week if I’d ever had Eve’s pudding, I would have answered, “what’s that?”  So many dishes that are common in one part of the world and practically unknown in another.  Eve’s pudding is a classic English dish with apples or other fruit and a sponge cake baked over the top.  Sounded good to me, but of course with some modifications to bring it into my world.

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I use whole wheat flour because I just can’t do the white flour thing anymore.  Less sweetener and less processed make it a bit healthier while still giving lots of flavor.  Using fruit juice for the liquid and adding spices. A second fruit in the sponge itself if another great idea I’ve seen. Try ginger with orange juice and blueberries, cinnamon with pineapple juice and cranberries, mint with grapefruit juice and figs.  All these flavors taste great with apples.

I like to give the apples a quick saute in butter to soften them slightly and them bake them in the dish.  Since they take a second round with the fire, I call mine Cain’s pudding.  A bit like Eve, but a little farther from the tree.

You’ll need:

Serves 5

Fruit at the bottom

5 medium large apples or firm pears  cored and sliced (no need to peel)

2 Tbs unsalted butter

1 Tbs raw sugar

2 Tbs or so molasses

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Cake batter

1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) unsalted butter, slightly softened

3/4 cup raw sugar

zest and juice of one orange (1/4 cup juice)

1/4 cup milk

1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

2 tsp ground ginger

2 eggs

1 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour

1 tbs baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

Second fruit for topping

1 1/2 cup fresh blueberries

raw sugar, as needed

In a large skillet, melt the butter and saute the apple slices with the sugar sprinkled over them.  Stir occasionally until apples begin to soften.  Divide the apples equally into individual oven proof greased bowls.  Drizzle a small amount of molasses over the apples.  Set aside.

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Preheat the oven to 350 F.

In a mixer, or food processor, cream the butter and sugar until creamy.  Add the zest, juice, vanilla and mix.  Add eggs one at a time and then the milk.  In a small bowl mix flour, baking powder and salt.  Add the dry mix to the wet and mix until just combined.  Spread the batter equally over the apples and spread to the edges of the bowl.

In the bowl that held the dry mix, toss your blueberries with about a teaspoon of sugar.  Crush a few of the berries and mix again.  Top the batter with berries.  Sprinkle each bowl with a bit of sugar (if desired).

Bake for 35-40 minutes until the topping is golden.  Serve warm with ice cream.  Enjoy!

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