BREAD AND BUTTER PUDDING WITH CREAM AND NUTMEG
This is a ritzy version of the old nursery favourite that appeals to just about everyone. The bread is rich and there is a distinct but subtle citrus flavour from the grated orange and lemon rinds.
12 slices of malt loaf (the sort with peel and raisins in it), buttered and cut in half
¾ pint/420ml single cream
1 whole egg and 2 large egg yolks
2oz/55g caster sugar
a good grating of nutmeg
grated rind of 1/2 lemon and 1/2 orange
1 rounded tablespoon demerara sugar
Butter an ovenproof dish and layer the buttered slices of malted bread in it. Beat together the cream, egg and yolks, caster sugar, nutmeg, lemon and orange rinds. Pour this mixture over the bread slices, and sprinkle the surface evenly with demerara sugar.
Bake in a moderate oven, 180C/350F/ Gas Mark 4, for about 20 minutes, or until the nutmeg custard is just set. Serve warm.
FLAPJACK CRUMBLE-TOPPED PLUMS IN RED WINE
1lb/450g plums (Santa Rosa are ideal for this recipe)
½ pint/285ml red wine
6oz/170g soft dark brown sugar
½ cinnamon stick
For the crumble:
4oz/110g demerara sugar
½ teaspoon top quality vanilla extract
a pinch of salt
8oz/225g rolled oats
Wash the plums and put them into a saucepan with the wine, soft brown sugar and the half cinnamon stick. Over a moderate heat, cook until the sugar has dissolved completely before covering the pan with its lid. Continue to cook until the plums are very soft. Then take the pan off the heat and cool. Throw away the cinnamon stick, then remove and discard the plum stones and put the plums and any juices from the pan into an ovenproof dish.
Make the crumble by melting the butter in a sauté pan. Stir in the demerara sugar and the vanilla extract, and cook over moderately high heat, stirring, for three to four minutes. Then add the rolled oats, and stir all together very thoroughly. Spoon this mixture over the surface of the cooked plums, then bake in a moderate oven, 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4, for about 25 to 30 minutes, depending on the depth of the dish you are using. The plums and their juice will bubble around the edges and, when done, the surface should be golden brown. Serve warm. This can be made and reheated without spoiling at all.
UPSIDE-DOWN BUTTERSCOTCH APPLE CAKE
For the base, which becomes the top:
3oz/85g soft dark brown sugar
½ teaspoon best vanilla extract
4 to 6 good eating apples, each peeled, cored and sliced (use 4 apples if they are large, 5 or 6 if they are small)
For the cake:
6oz/170g caster sugar
3 large eggs
6oz/170g self-raising flour, sieved
finely grated rind of 1 lemon, well washed and dried before grating
Line the base of a non-stick 8in/20cm cake tin with a disc of baking parchment. In a saucepan, melt the butter and stir in the soft dark brown sugar and the vanilla extract. Cook for several minutes over a moderate heat, letting the butter and sugar mixture bubble very gently. Then pour this over the baking parchment in the base of the cake tin. Arrange the peeled and cored apple slices over the butterscotch mixture.
To make the cake, beat together the butter and caster sugar. When light and fluffy, beat in the eggs, one by one, alternating with spoonfuls of the sieved flour. When all is blended together, mix in the grated lemon rind. Spoon this over the apple slices, and smooth even. Bake in a moderate heat, 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4, until the cake is golden brown and risen, about 25 to 30 minutes - when you stick a knife into the centre it should come out clean. Take the cake out of the oven, allow it to stand in its tin for 10 minutes, then turn it out onto a serving dish or a plate with a rim - the butterscotch juices will seep from the cake. Before serving, carefully peel off the disc of baking parchment.