The addition of marzipan lifts this steamed pudding to a luscious new level. Just make sure you use a good-quality one – then tuck in!
Steamed apple and almond pudding with marzipan and cider sauce
- 2 medium-sized granny smith apples, peeled, cored and quartered
- juice and zest of ½ lime
- 15ml butter
- 30ml demerara sugar
- 1ml ground cinnamon
- 1ml ground mixed spice
- 100g butter, at room temperature
- 125g castor sugar
- 2 jumbo eggs, at room temperature
- 50ml ground almonds
- 5ml vanilla extract
- 180g self-raising flour
- 1ml salt
- 60ml milk, at room temperature
- 50g good-quality marzipan
- 125g good-quality marzipan
- 250ml apple cider
- pinch of salt
- sprinkle of ground cinnamon
Grease and line a pudding basin.
Slice each apple quarter into 4 thin slices and sprinkle with the lime juice. In a heavy-bottomed pot, melt the butter and sugar, then add the apples, lime zest, cinnamon and mixed spice. Cook at a high heat to reduce all the liquid and soften the apples, about 1 – 2 minutes.
To make the sponge, beat the butter and sugar together with an electric beater until light and fluffy. Beat the eggs together lightly with a fork in a separate bowl and gradually pour over the butter mixture while beating continuously. Add the almonds and vanilla extract, and beat until well mixed.
Sift the flour and salt twice and then for a third time over the egg mixture. Fold in lightly with a large metal spoon together with the milk until all the dry ingredients are incorporated. Crumble the marzipan over the pudding batter and fold in gently until just mixed in.
Spoon the mixture into the prepared pudding basin. Cover the top with 2 layers of buttered greaseproof paper and a layer of foil, all three pleated across the middle (this will allow for the pudding to rise). Tie securely with string around the top of the basin and secure an extra length of string across the top to function as a handle.
Use a large heavy-bottomed pot and place an upturned saucer in the centre on which the pudding basin can stand. Pour in enough boiling water to reach halfway up the sides of the pudding basin. Cover with a tight-fitting lid and steam undisturbed for 1 hour and 30 minutes. The water should simmer gently during the whole steaming process. Check every now and then to ensure the pot does not boil dry, and top up with boiling water when necessary.
Make the sauce by crumbling the marzipan in a heavy-bottomed pot and pour the cider over. Slowly bring to the boil and stir until all the marzipan has melted and the sauce is sticky, about 3 – 4 minutes. Add the salt and cinnamon, and stir. Set aside and warm up again just before pouring.
Working carefully, lift the pudding out of the pot after the steaming time is completed. Remove the paper and allow the pudding to cool down slightly before turning it out onto a plate. Make sure the sides are loose before doing so. Do not worry too much about the bottom as the baking paper almost always ensures infallible results.
Pour the marzipan and cider sauce over and serve hot.