This recipe for Mother Eve’s pudding is so lovely for a cool autumn evening when you want something comforting & sweet to serve up to your friends or family. This fruity pudding is extremely good served warm, and even better if you’ve got some custard to go with it!
You can switch out the apples for other seasonal fruits (rhubarb is a great one to try) depending on what you have to hand. You can also change the flavouring – this version uses grated lemon zest in the apples but it can be delicious to add clove, cinnamon, ginger or orange zest instead.
Other apple recipes:
- Stovetop Apple Crumble
- Apple Cardamom Chelsea Buns
- Salted Caramel Apple Layer Cake
- Tahini Caramel Apple Tart
- 675 g (around 2 large) cooking apples (i.e. Bramleys) you could also use a tart eating apple like a Granny Smith.
- 50 g sugar (caster/granulated/light brown) I used demerara
- 1 tbsp water
- 1 lemon, zest finely grated
- 125 g unsalted butter or margarine, softened (plus 1 tbsp for greasing)
- 100 g caster sugar, granulated sugar or light brown sugar
- 2 medium eggs
- 50 g natural yogurt
- 125 g self-raising flour see notes if you want to use plain flour + baking powder instead
- 1 pinch salt
- 30 g ground almonds optional
- 1 tbsp caster sugar, granulated sugar or demerara sugar optional
For the stewed apples:
- Peel, core and thinly slice the apples. I like to slice the apples into a variety of sizes so that you get some which break down more and some which retain more texture.675 g (around 2 large) cooking apples (i.e. Bramleys)
- Place the sliced apples, sugar, water and lemon zest into a medium pot. Cover with a lid and place over a medium-low heat on the stove. Cook for 5 minutes, removing the lid occasionally to stir. Remove the lid and cook for a further 2-5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the apples are tender and some have broken down into a saucey consistency.50 g sugar (caster/granulated/light brown), 1 tbsp water, 1 lemon, zest finely grated
Butter the dish & preheat the oven:
- Preheat the oven to 180°C fan. Take an ovenproof dish with a roughly 1 litre (2 pint) capacity and add roughly 1 tbsp of butter to it. Place the dish into the oven for 2 minutes so the butter can melt. Use a pastry brush to spread the butter around the base and up the sides of the dish.
- Tip the cooked apples into the buttered dish and spread out into an even layer. Allow to cool for around 10 minutes as you make the batter.
Make the cake batter:
- In a medium bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until smooth and light. Mix in the eggs one at a time – the mix may look curdled, this is okay! Mix in the yogurt.125 g unsalted butter or margarine, softened, 100 g caster sugar, granulated sugar or light brown sugar, 2 medium eggs, 50 g natural yogurt
- Add the flour, salt and ground almonds (if using) and stir together until no floury patches remain. Spread the batter over the cooled apples in the dish.125 g self-raising flour, 1 pinch salt, 30 g ground almonds
- Sprinkle with the extra sugar, if using, then bake for 30-35 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.1 tbsp caster sugar, granulated sugar or demerara sugar
- Allow to cool for 10 minutes before serving warm with custard/cream/creme fraiche, if you like!
Comparing recipes from different chefs
When it comes to classic English baking recipes, I turn to Mary Berry first! The only version of Eve’s pudding I could find mentioned in association with her was a ‘Spiced Eve’s Pudding‘ recipe from her complete cookbook. The apple filling in her recipe is flavoured with lemon zest and cinnamon PLUS it includes raisins – all certainly delicious ingredients to go with the apples. She also includes mixed spice which would lend a Christmassy flavour to the bake.
Next up, Jamie Oliver, whose Eve’s pudding also includes mixed spice in the cake batter. However the apples in his recipe are simply stewed with sugar only. He does include a bit of vanilla extract in the cake, too, which I think sounds delicious.
Of course Nigel Slater is another British cook who has covered this recipe. Interestingly, he doesn’t pre-cook the apples before adding them to the dish. Whilst this would still be tasty, I don’t think they would sufficiently break down into a saucy apple compote underneath the cake batter. As the apples are unflavoured, he instead adds lemon zest and vanilla to the cake batter for flavour.
Lastly, I tried to search for a Delia Smith version of which I couldn’t find anything! Let me know in the comments if she does have a version of Eve’s pudding and, if you’ve made it, how it was?
I ended up settling on adapting the recipe from the National Trust book of English Desserts. I reduced the overall sugar content of the recipe as it seemed quite sweet. I also included yogurt and ground almonds in the cake batter to make it extra moist and soft.
Making Eve’s pudding without butter
As per many old English recipes, apparently the original recipe called for lard or suet as the fat (plus the pudding was steamed, not baked!). However, most modern recipes use butter. If you don’t want to use butter, the recipe works perfectly with margarine e.g. stork.
Making Eve’s pudding with rhubarb
This cake is quite a flexible one in that you can easily change up what stewed fruits you use in the bottom layer (along with different spices/flavourings). My mum has historically gone for apples stewed with whole cloves (she picks out the cloves after simmering the apples). She’s also used rhubarb before, which is genius since it’s quite a watery fruit which benefits from a pre-cook before baking with the cake batter.
If you want to use rhubarb in this recipe, replace the apples with 700g rhubarb, cut into ~4cm lengths. Stew them with 100g of sugar and 1 tbsp water, stirring occasionally, until the rhubarb has broken down into a compote.