There seem to be a lot of special days to celebrate recently but here’s one from the US we can all get behind - October the 14 th is National Dessert Day. Once a year seems trifling when we all like to have our cake and eat it but that’s just the way the cookie crumbles (see what I did there?!!)
Here’s a couple of simple to make pudding recipes that are perfect for the Autumn. First from Delicious Magazine is one of the UK’s favourites, a blackberry and apple crumble which you can serve with custard, ice-cream or yoghurt.
For the fruit
750g bramley apples
400g eating apples such as Cox
100-150g caster sugar to taste
For the crumble topping
240g plain flour
150g butter at room temperature, cut into small pieces
120g demerara sugar
- Heat the oven to 190˚C/170˚Cfan/gas 5. To make the crumble topping, sift the flour into a mixing bowl and add a pinch of salt. Rub the butter into the flour until it resembles breadcrumbs and then stir in the demerara sugar.
- Peel, quarter and core all the apples. Thinly slice the bramleys and cut the eating apples into thick wedges. Add the blackberries and mix together.
- Mix the caster sugar and cornflour together and add to the fruit mixture stirring everything around to coat the fruit.
- Spoon the fruit mixture evenly into a 2-litre baking dish and cover with the crumble topping. Bake for 45 minutes until the top is browned and the fruit is bubbling.
The wonderful Nigella Lawson has a new cookbook ‘Cook, Eat, Repeat’ coming out which includes this delicious sounding vegan gingerbread which would be equally as perfect for pudding with custard as served in the afternoon with a lovely cup of tea. You have to be organised for this one as it has to be made at least a day in advance.
150ml vegetable oil
200g golden syrup
200g black treacle
125g dark muscovado sugar
75g pitted soft prunes (about eight)
30g fresh ginger
2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground allspice
⅛ tsp ground cloves
¼ tsp ready-ground black pepper
¼ tsp fine sea salt
250ml oat milk
300g plain flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
2 x 15ml tbsp warm water
2 tsp regular cider vinegar
- Heat the oven to 170C (150C fan)/340F/gas mark 4. Line a 23cm square tin with a sheet of baking parchment, so it covers the bottom and comes up the sides. Leave something heavy on it to keep it down while you melt everything together.
- Measure the oil in a jug, and pour it into a fairly wide, heavy-based saucepan. Measure the syrup and treacle using the oily jug, as this will stop them sticking and help them pour out easily into the saucepan.
- Tip the sugar into the pan, and chop the prunes finely before adding them. Peel the ginger and grate it finely into the pan. Sprinkle in the spices and salt, and warm over gentle heat, whisking to combine. Don’t whisk too much: you do not want to get a lot of air in the mixture.
- Once everything’s melted and mixed, take the pan off the heat; it should be warm, rather than boiling hot. Add the oat milk, whisking gently to make sure it’s incorporated.
- Whisk in the flour in three or four batches, getting rid of any lumps as you go. This will take a few minutes; the only lumps you should see are the little bits of prune, which will melt into the gingerbread as it bakes.
- Dissolve the bicarbonate of soda in the warm water in a bigger cup than you think it needs, then add the vinegar and quickly whisk the fizzing mixture into the pan.
- Pour the gingerbread batter carefully into the lined tin and bake for 50-55 minutes, though start checking at 45. It may look cooked at 45 minutes, but as it’s so damp, a cake tester won’t help enormously – you’d expect some crumbs to stick to it – so take it out of the oven and touch the top quickly. If cooked, it should bounce back a bit under your fingers.
- Leave to cool in its tin on a rack. To taste this at its best, wrap the tin first in baking parchment and then in foil, and leave for a day or two before cutting into it.