450g(1 lb) apples, I used Granny Smith(5 large or 6 medium apples)
65g(⅓ cup) light soft brown sugarincrease if apples are not sweet
For the Sponge Layer
½tbspbutter to grease baking dish(or as needed)
200g(1 ¾ cups) flour(plain / all purpose)
200g(1 cup) caster sugar
180g(¾ cup) softened unsalted butteror margarine such as Stork
60ml(¼ cup) milkroom temperature
2tspvanilla bean pasteor vanilla extract
custard or vanilla ice cream
Preheat the oven to 180 C (350F) or 160C (325F) Fan Setting. Peel and core the apples then slice into small pieces. Heat the butter in a small saucepan and add the apples, cinnamon and brown sugar.
Cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes or until the apples have softened. If you prefer the apples to be really soft then cook them for longer. Set aside to cool down while you prepare the sponge batter.
Sift the baking powder, flour and caster sugar into a mixing bowl (or the bowl of your stand mixer).
Add the softened butter, eggs, milk and vanilla extract. Start mixing on a low speed setting and gradually increase the speed to maximum until the batter is smooth. Use a spatula to scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl to make sure everything is well mixed.
Grease a deep baking dish (I used a glass Pyrex dish measuring 8x11 inches) with butter. Spread the apples on the bottom of the dish.
Pour the sponge over the apples and spread it evenly using a spatula (gently so as not dislodge the apples).
Scatter some flaked almonds over the sponge (this is entirely optional – I just like the look of it) and bake in a preheated oven for 45-50 minutes until golden and risen.
Cool slightly then serve warm with vanilla custard or ice cream. This recipe serves six very generously or you can stretch it to feed eight if you cut smaller slices.
This pudding will keep for 2-3 days stored in the fridge in a covered container. Reheat in the microwave for 10-20 seconds to serve warm.TO FREEZEFreeze the entire sponge pudding, in the baking dish, as soon as it has cooled down completely. Thaw overnight in the fridge then serve.