Eve’s pudding was a favorite dessert in Ireland when I was growing up. A baked sponge tops deliciously sweetened and stewed apples, making it a comforting winter treat.
A traditional British pudding, it was cooked in Ireland too and probably brought across the Irish sea by the many wonderful Irish cooks who worked in the kitchens of England’s aristocratic homes.
Also known as Mother Eve’s pudding, as a shout out to the mother of all apple pickers, Eve herself, it’s best served warm and smothered in hot custard sauce.
And so today’s recipe is a little bit retro, and a tribute to the hearty food of my 1970’s childhood.
Chefs and cooks today often turn their noses up at the food of this era, but I still love the delicious puddings of my childhood. Here’s to the food of the ’70’s and down to the food snobs of today.
For anyone who hasn’t eaten Eve’s pudding in years, I hope this recipe and photos get your mouth watering. It’s a great alternative to another oldie but goodie, apple crumble.
When in Ireland I use cooking apples to make this dessert. The Bramley apple is used for most dessert and cake recipes in Ireland. I miss these cooking apples in the United States. They cook down to a lovely soft consistency, and with a little sugar they’re just perfectly tart.
I substitute Granny Smith apples in America. They work pretty well in this recipe, but if you’re in Ireland do use good old Bramley cooking apples. The end result is far superior. Well, at least, when judged by this Irish palate.
Anyway, that’s enough reminiscing about cooking apples, and so it’s time to cook our Eve’s Pudding.
Ingredients for Eve’s Pudding:
Here’s a quick list of the ingredients you’ll need. Check out the printable recipe at the end of this post for the exact amounts required in either US equivalents or Metric measurents.
For the base or filling:
- Granny Smith apples
- lemon juice (optional)
For the topping:
- vanilla extract (optional)
- cake flour
- baking powder
2 quart casserole dish
You can make an Eve’s pudding with fruits other than apples. Some good substitution choices include peaches, nectarines, plums or pears. However apples are the more traditional fruit to use in an Eve’s pudding.
Another optional addition is to add some flaked almonds on top of the batter before cooking. I made it this time without the extra almonds, but they add a nice decorative touch.
I use white sugar or caster sugar for making the sponge topping. In Ireland fine grain white sugar is called caster sugar. American white sugar is just as fine.
Vanilla extract is optional for the sponge. You can scrape the inside of a vanilla pod if you prefer, but I like the ease of using vanilla extract. I do not like using vanilla essence, and prefer the real flavor of natural vanilla.
Directions For Making Eve’s Pudding:
Preheat oven to 350°F of for those in Ireland or Europe go with 180°C/Gas 4.
Grease a 2 quart ovenproof dish with a little bit of butter.
I bought this lovely enamel ware dish in Dublin and I love it. These blue rimmed dishes served my granny well for many decades. Everytime I take it out to cook, I smile and think of days gone by.
I like to start making the topping first and while the butter and sugar are creaming together I prepare the apples.
So add the butter and sugar to the bowl of your mixer and start beating them together until the mixture is light a fluffy.
If you don’t have a stand mixer and need to hold the beater while creaming the butter and sugar, then prepare your apples before you get started on the sponge mixture.
Peel, core and slice the apples.
Layer the apples in the base of the prepared dish, adding a little of the sugar between each layer.
Lemon juice is an optional ingredient. If using it sprinkle it over the apples in the dish. It helps to keep the apples from browning when while preparing the topping, but it does add an extra depth of flavor to the apple base.
I actually prefer Eve’s Pudding without any lemon, so I don’t waste any time to make sure I get the apples into the oven as fast as possible.
Many Eve’s Pudding cooks stew the apples on the stove top before putting them into the base of the casserole dish. I find this technique makes the apples a little mushier, and my motto is always to keep things simple. Why add an extra step when it’s not absolutely necessary?
Put the casserole dish with the apples to the side, and let’s return to the topping.
The sugar and butter is creamed until it is a pale yellow in color.
Next, sieve the flour, baking powder and salt into another bowl.
Add one egg, a spoon of flour, and the vanilla extract to the butter and sugar mixture and beat it on a medium speed.
My mother never used vanilla extra when making Eve’s pudding. However, it adds a lovely flavor to the sponge so do feel free to add a little. It’s totally up to you.
Add the other egg and a little more flour and mix it well together on medium speed.
Reduce the speed to low and start adding the flour spoon by spoon.
Add the milk a tablespoon at a time to give a soft, dropping batter consistency.
Spread the sponge mixture over the apples.
Pop it into the oven and bake for about 40 minutes until the sponge is golden brown.
If it starts to go too brown cover it with an aluminium foil tent to stop the top from burning.
Remove from the oven and cool for a little while before serving.
The apples will be piping hot and you don’t want to burn any tongues by serving it too soon.
This dessert is best served warm, and custard is my favorite accompaniment.
It does taste good with whipped cream or ice cream, but as far as I am concerned you can’t beat a delicious custard.
Here’s the printable recipe. You can switch tabs beneath the ingredient list to switch between American measurements and the Metric system.
- For the base or filling:
- 2 pounds Granny Smith apples 5 medium apples
- ¾ cup sugar add extra if apples are very tart
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- For the topping:
- 4 ounces butter 1 stick
- ½ cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup cake flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- pinch salt
- 3 tablespoons of milk
- Preheat oven to 350°F/180°C/Gasmark 4.
- Grease a 2 litre ovenproof dish with a little bit of butter.
- Peel, core and slice the apples. Layer the apples in the base of the prepared dish, sprinkling the sugar between each layer. Drizzle with lemon juice if using. Set aside.
- Cream the butter and sugar together on high speed using an electric mixer until a pale yellow colour.
- Add one egg and the vanilla essence, if using, with a spoon of flour and mix together at medium speed. Add the other egg and a spoon of flour, then mix until combined.
- Reduce the mixer speed to low and start adding the flour spoon by spoon.
- Add the milk a tablespoon at a time to give a soft, dropping batter consistency.
- Spread the sponge batter over the apples. Bake in the pre-heated oven for 40 minutes until golden brown.
- Allow to cool slightly before serving. Best served warm with custard sauce or whipped cream.
Nutrition Information is estimated based on the ingredients and cooking instructions as described in each recipe and is intended to be used for informational purposes only. Please note that nutrition details may vary based on methods of preparation, origin and freshness of ingredients used.
Here’s my recipe for egg custard sauce for anyone that’s interested in adding the finishing touch.
Happy cooking to all this week. I hope you stay warm and enjoy this comforting dessert of my childhood.
Slán agus beannacht,
(Goodbye and blessings)
Irish American Mom
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