Mrs. Jackson Cooks

Life through food

Yet another pudding for apples

on November 23, 2010

I continue in my quest to use the apples my uncle kindly gave me from his garden, as they are unfortunately, too sour to eat by themselves. It took me, as you’d expect, to Delia again, and this time, to a new recipe from her somewhat daunting recipe book The Delia Collection: Puddings. You’ll be relieved to know that I think I’m going to use the final amount of the apples on a Ravinder Bhogal recipe that looks yummy but I need some coronation caramel for that one, so this one came first.

As you know, I’m scared of pastry, so unlike most things, I buy my pastry. I will get over my fear one day, I’m sure, but not this day. So I used the Jus Rol shortcrust pastry for this, and really, if you’re in a hurry, you could do this as a mid week pudding if you used ready made pastry because there’s no need to mess about with making and then chilling the pastry first.

Also, Delia says to soak the raisins in the cider overnight but I didn’t have the time or patience for that so I just soaked them for a couple of hours. Obviously longer is better, but don’t worry too much if they don’t have much time. I only had about 50g of raisins so I made the rest up with sultanas. I don’t think it really matters – just use what you have to hand.

This does require a degree of thought before you do this recipe – because most people don’t have pastry in their freezers, the odd can of cider lying around and semolina. I suppose people like my mum might, but I couldn’t imagine any of my friends having such things! In fact, I didn’t. But I did manage to find everything I needed in M&S so they aren’t difficult ingredients to source and most supermarkets will have them, even the smaller ones.

I used the amount of apples as stated by Delia but I think you could easily add another 50g or so of apples without the parcels getting over full. I’d also use more raisins, and have increased both quantities accordingly in the recipe.

I cooked 4 out of the 8 parcels and froze the other 4 after putting together but before cooking. I’ll let you know how that turns out. But I thought 8 was too many for 2 people and we’d be eating them all week! Which would be no good for either of our figures! But these would be great for a dinner party as they are individual tartlets and they’re very pretty when they’re done, served with custard.

Delia also suggests using any other kind of fruit but if using soft fruit like berries or gooseberries or rhubarb, add a tablespoon of semolina instead of a teaspoon, to absorb the juices or your pastry will go soggy.

Anyway, once you start with this it doesn’t take long to put the parcels together and they are very good with custard. And great if you have a main dish in the oven too. This is my adaptation of Delia’s recipe, although feel free to make your own pastry.

Delia’s Apple and Raisin individual parcel tartlets

Serves 8

500g ready to roll shortcrust pastry

400g apples (whatever you have to hand – adjust the sugar accordingly), cored and diced (unpeeled)

100g raisins (or other dried grapes)

120ml dry cider

8 teaspoons semolina

16 whole cloves

8 teaspoons granulated sugar

1 egg white, lightly beaten

  1. Soak the raisins in the cider for as long as possible, or overnight.
  2. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees celsius
  3. Grease a baking pan – I used a glass baking dish – something with reasonably high sides thats oblong or square rather than round in shape
  4. Flour an area for working the pastry. I use my work surface. Cut the pastry into 4 pieces.
  5. Roll each pastry piece into an oblong of about 26x13cm, then cut in half to make 2 squares.
  6. Taking 2 squares at a time, put 1 teaspoon of semolina in the middle of each square, leaving about 1cm around the edges.
  7. Top the semolina with 2 tablespoons of apples, 1 teaspoon of sugar, 2 cloves and 1 tablespoon of drained raisins.
  8. brush (or use a knife) some of the egg white round the outside of the pastry.
  9. Then pinch the corners together hard and fold up to make a little open box around the filling. Using a spatula to help, lift the parcel into the baking dish and firmly place in a corner.
  10. Repeat with the remaining square until they are all tightly in the baking dish.
  11. Add any remaining fruit to the parcels.
  12. Then brush the visible pastry with the egg white and place in the oven for about 50 minutes or until the parcels look golden and cooked.
  13. Serve with custard, ice cream or cream and enjoy, smug in your ability to make something with pastry!
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