A sponge for an autumn afternoon. It’s good after Sunday lunch, so long as it hasn’t been a heavy one (or have lunch, go for a walk and come back to this. Bliss).
Prep time: 30 minutes | Cooking time: 1 hour 30 minutes
150g butter, plus extra for greasing
150g caster sugar
3 eggs, beaten
400g Bramley apples, peeled, cored and chopped
Pinch of salt
55g soft white breadcrumbs
2-5 tbsp milk
7 tbsp orange marmalade
2 tbsp golden syrup
Cream the butter and sugar together until fluffy. Gradually add the eggs, beating well as you go.
Using a large spoon, fold in the flour and apples, then the salt and breadcrumbs. Add enough milk to make a dropping consistency.
Butter a 1.2 litre pudding basin and put the marmalade and syrup in the bottom. Pour in the sponge mixture. Cover with buttered foil, ideally with an inner lining of greaseproof paper, pleated in the middle to allow expansion, and secure with string tied round the rim of the basin. Loop the ends over to make a handle. Put the pudding on a trivet or an old saucer in a large saucepan and pour in boiling water, but not too far up – the water shouldn’t touch the foil or you’ll end up with a soggy pudding. Put on the lid and steam for 1½ hours, until the pudding is firm and well risen. Top up the pan with boiling water when it needs it.
Remove from the heat and leave the pudding to shrink a little before turning it out on to a warmed plate. Serve with crème fraîche or whipped cream.