Apples are the quintessential fall food! Savoury or sweet, they give any dish a rustic comfort food like quality. Like all my ‘throwdown’ dishes, I take inspiration from the local farmers’ markets, which for this occasion, highlight the many apple varieties grown in the Montreal surrounding areas. From the sweet and pulpy Gala to the tart and crisp Spartan and Macintosh varieties, any dish is bound to reflect the sweet subtleties derived from any of apple varieties used.
This recipe is an adaptation to Jamie Oliver’s orchard Eve’s pudding with whisky Jersey cream (Jamie at home; Cook your way to the good life). The addition of pears to the mix makes the cake a bit sweeter and more complex. The pears tend to cook through quickly and breakdown completely, so I suggest a more firm variety.
1.5 kg of Spartan, Macintosh apples and firm pears
A large pad of butter
100g of brown sugar
A pinch each of ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg and ginger
3 bay leaves
1 vanilla pod
1 x 284 ml of whipping cream
1 tbs icing sugar
A swig of whisky
For the batter
200g butter softened
200g granulated sugar
4 large eggs
200g of self-raising flour (or for each cup of all-purpose flour, add 1 ¼ tsp of baking powder and ¼ salt)
- Preheat oven to 350 °F.
- Peel and core apples and pears, and cut into large wedges.
- Place in a large sauce pan with butter, brown sugar, spices and bay leaves.
- Cook down 20 to 30 minutes with the lid on, until soft and cooked.
- Remove from heat and discard bay leaves.
- Make the batter by incorporating the creamed butter and sugar, eggs (1 at a time), then flour.
- Taking a 20 cm buttered ovenproof baking dish, transfer half of the cooked fruit (without the juices) into the bottom of the dish.
- Top with cake batter, then spoon over the remaining fruit, reserving the juices.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 40- 45 minutes, or until golden brown and risen.
- To check whether its cooked through, stick a skewer or small knife into the middle of the sponge- if it comes out clean, you’re done!
- Slice the vanilla pod in half lengthways and scrape seeds out using the blunt side of the knife
- Put into a bowl with the cream.
- Whip the cream, vanilla and icing sugar until it forms soft peaks.
- Fold in the whisky and serve atop the cake with a spoonful of the fruit juices.