Saturday, 21 April 2012

Dutch Apple Ginger ~ or try it with pears ~ an easy dessert to warm and delight!

It's apple-picking time and the evenings are getting cooler which reminded me of apple desserts and this recipe in particular.  I've made it a couple of times recently and what a treat it is!

I have the recipe from my mother who came by it so long ago that she no longer remembers who gave it to her - probably it came from one of my grandmothers.  I include it here so that you can enjoy it too:

Quantities given here make enough for three to four people.

  • Apples, preserved, or stewed with a little sugar - the recipe says 2 pounds (1 kilo), but my measure is simply to have enough to fill the baking dish to the depth of an inch or so.
  • OR pears!  Absolutely delectable!
  • Cinnamon or mixed spice - 1 teaspoon, which is stirred in with the apples.  I definitely prefer the mixed spice.
  • A knob of butter, say 1 - 2 teaspoons - stir this in when the apples or pears are hot.
Topping:  (Adapted 26th July 2013 to be a little less sweet but just as deliciously spicy!)
  • Butter - 100 grams or 3 ounces
  • Golden syrup - 150 grams or 5 ounces (5 - 6 level tablespoons)
  • Flour - plain - 125 grams or 4 ounces (1 cup)
  • Ginger, powdered - 1 teaspoon
  • Baking soda - half a teaspoon
  • Milk - 2-4 tablespoons  - depending on the consistency that looks good to you!
Note: the addition of a beaten egg to the topping mixture will make it rise considerably more, and make it more like a sponge topping.  I like it without, which is a matter of personal preference.

    I use a jar of preserved apples.  Whether using these or freshly stewed apples they do need to be hot.  Be sure to pour off any excess syrup before placing fruit in your baking dish, so that the surface is mostly exposed apple as you don't want your topping to sink into watery syrup and go soggy, but you do want to have enough syrup in the dish so that the fruit has some of its own juice.  

    Stir in the cinnamon or mixed spice and butter.

    Set the oven to heat to 180 degrees Celcius or 350 degrees Fahrenheit, and put the dish of cooked apple in to heat while you make the topping.  When the fruit syrup is bubbling up a little it's hot enough for the topping to be spooned onto it.

    Make the topping:
    • Melt the butter in a saucepan and add in the golden syrup.  Heat but do not boil (so that it doesn't caramelise).
    • Stir in the ginger.
    • Mix the soda and the milk in a cup and have ready to add.
    • Measure the flour and combine it with the butter and syrup.
    • Add the soda and milk and combine well.
    • Once the apple and the oven are hot enough, lift out the baking dish and spoon the topping over the apples to cover them.
    • Bake for 20 to 30 minutes being careful not to burn.  It will rise somewhat to form a pillow-like surface.
    Serve hot with cream or custard.  It's delicious cold the next day, but I'd be surprised if you have any, as this is one dessert that everybody loves and wants more of.

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