New Old School Pudding

Periodic Pudding Number 4: Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

Far too many weeks have passed since I dusted off an old dessert, so last week I thought I’d give one a bash.  The Pineapple Upside-Down Cake has seen more comebacks than Cher.  I remember begging my mum to try making us one went it swooped back into fashion in the 90s.  It was a disaster… probably Anthea Turner’s fault.

I can’t tell if the Pineapple Upside-Down Cake is making an actual comeback, there seem to be a lot of them plastered across Pinterest but I might be missing some implied irony.  Anyway, there’s a recipe in Nigella Express and I wanted dessert.

To make Nigella’s Pineapple Upside-Down Cake you will need: a 24cm tatin tin/23cm solid cake tin, 6 slices pineapple plus 3 tbs of the juice from the tin, 11 glace cherries, 100g flour, 1 tsp baking powder, quarter tsp bicarb, 100g soft butter (plus extra for greasing), 100g caster sugar (plus extra for the tin) and 2 eggs.

Firstly, turn the oven on to 200c/gas 6 (alter if you have a fan oven), butter the base of your tatin pan – I would recommend buttering the sides too – then sprinkle 2 tablespoons of sugar over the the butter and arrange the pineapple rings and cherries on the bottom.

My tin is slightly smaller than the recipe recommends, but it’s the same one I do my tatins in.  In the old days, this was exotic.

Nigella recommends doing the next step in a food processor, but I did it by hand because I had a headache.  Put all the cake ingredients (butter, flour, eggs, bicarb, baking powder and sugar) into a bowl and mix them together until the batter is smooth.  Then add 3 tablespoons of pineapple juice from the tin and stir some more.

Pour the mix over the pineapples  and spread it out gently to cover all the fruit in the bottom.  Bake for 30 minutes.

Run a spatula around the edge of the tin, put a plate over the top and flip it over without burning yourself on the red-hot cast iron skillet or on any escaping molten pineapple juice, and you should have yourself a Pineapple Upside-Down Cake… mine looked like this:

I don’t remember it being such a heavy cake, maybe I’ll use less pineapple juice next time to see if it lightens the sponge a bit.

We just ate it on its own, but I’m guessing in the old days people ate it with a tin of carnation, or a slice of span or something.  Definitely one to make again!

 

Nigella Express, by Nigella Lawson (Chatto & Windus 2007 ISBN 9780701181840)

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TATINIMO!!

Well slap my face an call me Mme Tatin.

I’ve been hanging my head in shame for some weeks after christening my new skillet with some charred bits of apple (https://newrecipenight.wordpress.com/2014/01/08/periodic-puddi…-2-tarte-tatin/) torn between trying again and scraping molten sugar off my hob.  But then I was walking passed the fruit stall yesterday and saw apples and had to try again (also I only had a ten pound note and didn’t want to break it just for some garlic)

I think they’re called Pink Kiss or Pink Lady or something.  They were pink.  I was hoping they were nicer than Golden Delicious, which made my Tatin so much nastier last time.

After my last attempt I received loads of advice from friends about how to make a Tarte Tatin, but I ignored it all and tried again with the recipe in the Bake Off book – not through being pig-headed, I just wanted to check if the problem was me or the recipe.

One of the main problems with the last Tatin was that most of the caramel ran over the side of the pan, and the bit that was left turned black instantly.  To combat this, I took a third off the quantities in the recipe; and to ensure the butter covered the bottom of the pan I smeared it around until it was uniform – I didn’t want the sugar being directly against the pan straight away (which I know is pretty silly). It had seven apples, sixty grams of butter and 11o grams of caster sugar.

To stop it burning I kept the gas down as low as it would go (on my flamethrower hob) and kept my eye on it (unlike last time when I drank beer and gossiped with my mate)

Also, less spilled out this time – some still did, but not as much.  I’m not sure whether to further reduce the butter and sugar when I make it again?

I made the pastry exactly as I did last time, but next time I make it I’ll roll it out thicker.  One change I did make from last time is that I turned the oven down by another ten degrees – so it was in at 190c for 26 minutes.

It turned out in one piece and looked like a Tarte Tatin.  I am very happy with it.  Next time I’ll run a knife around the edges to get the crust out whole, but I think its definitely one for the next dinner party!

(Note emergency ice cream bought in case of failure)

I’m assuming you make it with other fruits in the same way?

Rhubarb Crumble with Incorrect Custard

I’ve always thought that there is nothing as nice as an unexpected pudding.

After I Tatin’d myself last week (https://newrecipenight.wordpress.com/2014/01/08/periodic-pudding-number-2-tarte-tatin/) I was a bit pudding shy, but then I was looking for a new cake to try and decided on a Rhubarb and Almond Loaf from the Hummingbird Bakery ‘Cake Days’ book.  The smallest (only) pack of rhubarb I could find was big enough to make four cakes, which is far too many even for me, so I decided to try making crumble, so as not to waste the rhubarb.

I’d never made a crumble before, hence my proud writing about it here.  This particular crumble is a bit of a franken-crumble on account of the fruit being stewed to the Rhubarb and Almond Loaf recipe, and the crumble being roughly to Nigella’s recipe in ‘How to Eat’

Rhubarb Crumble 1

Unfortunately the stewed rhubarb lost its colour whilst being baked, but it didn’t while being turned into crumble.  My mum has always had a rhubarb patch, so I had never cooked or eaten pink rhubarb before.

To stew the rhubarb, cut 4-5 stalks into 2cm pieces and stew with 70g caster sugar and 30g of butter in 50ml of water – I used double these quantities to stew the whole pack; but I took out 100g for the cake.

I chose Nigella’s crumble mix above all the other recipes I had to base my crumble on, because that was the only one that mentioned being good for rhubarb.

For a medium sized dish, rub together 75g or self-raising flour, 75g of porridge oats, 90g of butter, 4 tablespoons of light muscovado sugar and 2 of vanilla sugar.  I put it in the oven for 30 minutes on gas 5 (190c).

Whilst it was in the oven I had my first bash at custard.  I’m not ashamed to say that I used Bird’s custard powder – it’s what I was raised on, and I don’t like to see other custards.  I followed the instructions on the side of the tin, made the paste while the milk heated and mixed them together.  Then I did something pretty silly.  It seemed too runny – I hate runny custard – so I added more powder…

I didn’t realise that instant custard thickens when it is returned to the pan and brought to the boil.  I’m very ashamed to say that the custard stopped moving before it boiled.  Also, I really shouldn’t have let it cool.

Rhubarb Crumble 2

I didn’t keep my other slice for the next day, it wasn’t very nice – but the crumble was lovely!

Periodic Pudding number 2: Tarte Tatin.

I am clearly mad.  What on earth would posses a normal thirty-something to have a whirl at a Tarte Tatin on a Tuesday afternoon?

A new skillet.  That’s what.

Way back before Mince Pie season was up on us, I threatened to make the occasional pudding (see http://wp.me/p42Dr4-L ) to spur me into making deserts, and so break up the savoury-ness of this blog. Anyway, I bought myself a skillet that I could put in the oven the other day, and by chance my Great British Bake-Off ‘How to Bake’ book fell open at the Tarte Tatin page en-route to the recipe for Bakewell Cupcakes.

“Aha!” I thought, “A glamorous pudding I can serve to my friends when they come to visit later in the month”  Word would get back up north that I could cook.  Boom.

For those of you who don’t know – like me – the Tarte Tatin was accidentally invented by one of the Tatin Sisters at their hotel in Lamotte-Beuvron, France in the 1880s.  I’m guessing there are hundreds of recipes out there on the internet, so I shall not give the recipe here for fear of Mary Berry’s ninja’s coming after me.

I was slightly concerned that my new skillet wasn’t non-stick, then I realised I had the coat the bottom of the pan in a massive amount of butter.  There’s no way that this was staying in the pan.  Little did I know how prophetical that statement was…

A massive amount of sugar, just to hide the butter, and then I had to peel and core a load of apples.  The recipe asked for Golden Delicious apples, which I don’t really like, but I trusted in the recipe and gave them a go.

All ready to start caramelising.  Now, I have a confession to make:  I have never made caramel before.  This won’t be a shock to regular readers as prior to the start of the New Recipe Night project I hadn’t done a lot of things in the kitchen.

I think my skillet was too small.  Mary’s idea of 8 inches was bigger than mine.  As a result, pretty soon after I turned the gas on the buttery sugar mix started to bubble over the sides of my pan:

Without wanting to be too dramatic, I ended up welding hot apple-y sugar across half of my hob.  Which I’d just cleaned…  I think this is where I started to go wrong; when the caramel started to turn brown I assumed the burning smell was coming from the bits catching on the burner.

The instructions were a little vague about how brown the caramel should go, and looking back I can safely say I burned it.

I got the pastry on right, tucked it in as tightly as I dared with the boiling caramel and red hot iron pan and put it in my pre-heated oven.

Even though I knocked twenty degrees off to take into account the fan, I still think the oven was too hot, and the instructions a little vague about how long it would need.  I was still quite impressed when it came out… slightly browner than I’d like around the handle obviously.  Unfortunately this is the only pudding in history to look better upside-down.

I chose to turn it out onto my taking-cake-on-the-tube plate, in case I dropped the skillet on it.  I was very excited to see my perfect Tarte Tatin that I could proffer at my impressed lover on his return from work…

To put it bluntly, if the Tatin Sister’s first Tarte Tatin had turned out like mine, they’d have lobbed it in the bin and gone straight to the cheese course.

tarte tatin 7

When I showed my friends this, one of them said he “thought it was a sliced hunk of meat” – I can see his point, and it’s not the best picture, but that’s how my Tatin turned out.  It wasn’t very nice, the apples didn’t have much flavour, the non-blackened bits were just hot and wet.  The caramel was very bitter and I some how burned the pastry.

There was a time last night when I thought I might festively dust it with icing sugar, but I reconsidered – no one likes a nasty surprise under the snow!

I wish I’d had more ice cream.  It wasn’t the worst thing I’ve ever eaten, but I’m torn between trying again, trying a different recipe, and choosing something else to make.  Two separate friends told me about the Roux Brother’s method of making a Tatin, which I may try.  I also might try reducing the quantities of butter and sugar to save my poor hob.

Stay tuned for more New Recipe Night.

** NEWSFLASH – I HAD ANOTHER GO AND IT WORKED! ** recipe here: https://newrecipenight.wordpress.com/2014/02/05/tatinimo

When does using up leftovers go to far?

Hello.  I’m still alive.

That wasn’t a dig, just a statement.  I would have posted the bits I was going to post sooner than now, but the laptop is kept all the way over there and the cookery books are only over there… I’ve been analogue for a week through pure laziness.

For this post I would like to ask when the urge to use up leftovers goes too far.  The example I would like to use is the bread and butter pudding I made the other week.

I must have brought my Sainsbury’s tiger loaf during the wrong faze of the moon or something.  I got about 2 slices off it for my lover’s lunch on the Tuesday, and when I went to cut it for Wednesday’s lunch it was a tad tough.  He text to say he’d cut his gum on the crust, and that the bread was jolly hard and I should buy new bread.

Yep, he uses ‘jolly’ in text messages.

So I looked at my 3/4 tiger loaf and decided it was far too much to throw away, and I’d get judged by the Yummies at the park if I lobbed it at the ducks (white bread makes ducks sink in West London)… So I decided the only way to use up the bread would be to make Bread & Butter Pudding with it.

breadbutterpud

I think it might have been a false economy.  Firstly, I panicked at the thought of whisking everything together by hand – and ran down to Argos and bought a whisk.  It’s not a very good whisk, and it makes a funny smell above speed 3.  Of course, then I had to go out and buy 300ml of double cream, a pint of whole milk and 6 eggs.

I spent £20.00 so as not to waste about £1.10 of bread…

It was ok, I’d never had Bread&Butter Pudding before, and this recipe from the Hairy Bikers Mum’s Know Best book was nice with the cinnamon (which I got everywhere), but I think next time I’ll just throw the bread away (or feed the ducks).  I also need a better dish – the one I found was too tall and narrow and the middle of the custard didn’t set so it was a bit soupy in the middle.

I might start making a different ‘new-old school pudding’ each month, because I’ve never really made pudding before.

Mmmm spotted dick.