Round three has come and gone. Quickly. I’m much more adept at it now and my other half demolished it in quick march time. Since the last two rounds rather damp in the center, I believed that the pie dish I was using–a 9-inch pyrex–was too deep yet too small for the amount of batter I made. It was precarious transferring the dish to the oven. I endeavored to buy a wider pie dish but was stopped by the fact that there aren’t a whole lot of places to go in this little valley where I live nor many options without having to drive about 500 km to the east. What to do? I spied a wide ceramic quiche dish in a local store and bought it for my third experiment. Maybe it’s not perfectly accurate for the time period but necessity IS the mother of invention after all.It would still give me the variables I was looking for– wider and shallower.
I’d pretty much perfected my concept of the ingredient list for Apple Puff Pudding by the second round. The wider, shallower dish did allow for a little more cooking on the sides but the center remains obstinately damp. This, excitingly, was the only round that resulted in some actual, brief puffing of the pudding. It quickly collapse upon exit of the oven but I figure I’m on the right path. I may yet endeavor to try other temperatures or a proper 12-inch glass pie dish, but I am told the result is most edible. Even cold. It disappeared completely into tummies the last two rounds. It is somewhat like a Far Breton–custardy and dense. It really is good hot, as specified in the original recipe, especially with vanilla ice cream. Without further ado, my notes and the resulting recipe.
Okay. First, the original:
The instructions are pretty straight forward but need to be translated in modern recipe parlance.
butter for greasing
3 medium-sized apples — about 375 g (3/4 lb)
225 g (1/2 lb) all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
2 cups milk
1/4 cup cold, diced butter
2 tablespoons white sugar
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Butter 12 inch pie dish or 12 inch ceramic quiche dish completely. Set dish aside.
Core and peel apples. Slice all three apples into 1/4 inch thick (1/2 centimeter) slices. This should equal about 3 cups of sliced apple. Set aside.
In a medium-sized bowl, add flour and salt. Mix to incorporate. Gradually add milk to flour mixture, stirring with a whisk until smooth.
Add three whole eggs and continue to whisk mixture until eggs are fully incorporated and batter is smooth.
Pour batter into buttered quiche dish. Carefully lay apple pieces on top of the batter in a pattern. The three cups of apple slices should cover the entire surface of the batter. Slices will need to be placed closely together.
Scatter diced butter randomly over the top of the apple slices. Put dish in oven and bake for about 50 minutes or when the edges become a deep golden brown and slightly pulling away from the edges.
Take pudding out of oven and immediately sprinkle 2 tablespoons of sugar over the top of the apple puff. Serve immediately.
Serves 8 generously
– I used Royal Gala apples. They stayed firm and slightly sweet but I don’t know how accurate they would be for Victorian authenticity
– I used 2 percent Dairyland milk. I never tried skim and I don’t know if that would make a difference. That could be a future test in the kitchen. Wonder if organic would make a difference.
– I used all-purpose Robin Hood flour
– The hot pudding tastes very good with Breyer’s French Vanilla ice cream.
– I might still play around with the temperature, maybe at 385 instead, since the combo of higher temperature and a shallower dish seemed to result in some momentary puffing of the batter.
If you try it out, let me know and tell me what your results were. Enjoy!