Saturday 4 June 2011

Plum Gingerbread Sponge Pudding

It has been an autumn of stewed plums.  Plums have featured in puddings, in smoothies, in slices, even on scones.  So when I finally made a recipes I had bookmarked for Rhubarb Gingerbread Sponge Pudding, I found myself substituting plums for rhubarb.  It seemed right. 

Sylvia has shared my enthusiasm for plums.  She loves stoning them and quite a few get eaten along the way.  She also helped stir the pudding.  I haven't been making puddings very often lately.  We have been trying to eat dinner with Sylvia, though it doesn't always happen.  If we don't manage to eat with Sylvia, we often find ourselves eating after 8pm.  Fitting in desserts is tricky.

The night I made this pudding, I decided to make pizza on Turkish bread.  Anything challenging would have put an end to my plans to serve sweets (as my family would call dessert).  However I had bought the last hurrah of autumn's plums and they had to be used.  I thought it if I started early, Sylvia might have been able to join in eating sweets with us.  My timing wasn't quite right.  She loved eating the stewed plums while we ate the pizza.

The stewed plums were delicious with the addition of maple syrup.  Their depth of flavour worked well with the spicy sponge topping.  I didn't quite get the recipe right.  In my rush, I got the amount of sugar wrong, accidentally used self raising flour, ran out of golden syrup and found it needed more time than the recipe suggested.  I wondered if it was because I didn't drain the fruit well enough.  However it still tasted good.

I also used some apples that my mum had given me from her tree.  It seemed quite floury to eat fresh but tasted wonderful when stewed.  We finally had our dessert late while watching the telly.   E was very impressed - though he could have done with less fruit.  We both decided plums were far better than rhubarb in this pudding.  It lasted us a few nights so Sylvia got a chance to taste it but picked at it with less enthusiasm than when she just had stewed plums.  I loved it and highly recommend it as a great winter warmer.

I am sending this recipe to Jacqueline of Tinned Tomatoes who is resurrecting the Bookmarked Recipes event, that was founded by Ruth.  The event encourages bloggers to share recipes that they have bookmarked (and haven't we all so many bookmarked recipes to try).

Previously on Green Gourmet Giraffe:
This time last year: Banana Weetbix Muffins for Sylvia
This time two years ago: Apricot Crumble: a moveable feast
This time three years ago: Rabbiting on about Cheese and Rarebit!
This time four years ago: WHB: Reconciliation damper, snags and dead horse

Plum Gingerbread Sponge Pudding
Pudding adapted from Stephanie Alexander and stewed plums adapted from Bettina Jenkins
Serve 6-8

Stewed plums:
  • 800 to 1 kg plums
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cinnamon quill
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
Stewed apples:
  • 2 red apples, peeled, cored and sliced
  • 1-2 tbsp water
  • 1 tbsp rice syrup
Gingerbread pudding:
  • 125g butter
  • 3 tbsp brown sugar (I misread and used 1/3 cup coconut sugar)
  • 1/3 cup golden syrup (or black treacle) - I used half each
  • 1 egg
  • 185g plain flour (I misread and used self raising flour)
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • grating of fresh nutmeg
  • pinch salt
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda

To stew the plums: Place vanilla, cinnamon, maple syrup and water in medium saucepan.  My cinnamon quill was quite flaky so I crushed it into a tea infuser so it was easier to remove at the end.  Simmer for about 6 minutes until syrupy, though mine was not very.  While syrup is simmering, wash, stone and quarter plums.  Add chopped plums to syrup and cook until just soft - about 5 minutes.  Remove cinnamon quill and discard. 

To stew apples: Place apples, water and rice syrup in a small saucepan.  Bring to the boil and gently cook for a few minutes until apples are softened.  Check if they are sweet enough.  My apples were very sweet but others might need a bit of extra sweetening.

To make the pudding:  Cream the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy (I did this by hand).  Stir in golden syrup and/or treacle, and then the egg.  Fold in the flour, spices and salt.  Dissolve bicarb of soda in the milk (the recipe suggested heating the milk but I didn't do this).  Add to the batter and mix until combined.

To assemble:  Preheat oven to 180 C.  Grease a large square baking dish.  Mix the apples with the plums.  Drain off as much liquid as possible.  (Keep the liquid as a sweetener for smoothies or other dishes.)  Tip the fruit into the base of the baking dish.  Spoon the batter over the fruit and smooth with the back of a spoon.  Cook for 35-65 minutes (The recipe said 35 minutes but after that time my batter seemed uncooked when I stuck a spoon in to serve, despite a skewer coming out cleanly when testing it.  I cooked it another 30 minutes.)  Serve with cream, if desired.

On the stereo:
we bring you a king with a head of gold: dark britannia II: Various artists


  1. This looks delicious! Such wonderful classic flavours, my mouth is watering at this pudding. I love winter because it means we start making end eating hot puddings in my household again.

  2. Love the idea of a gingerbread sponge pudding on top of the fruit - it sounds like a great combination!

    Love the picture of Sylvia's hand reaching out for one of those pieces of plum! It's interesting that she prefers the plum 'au naturel' rather than in the pudding.

  3. That sounds so good. Really like the idea of using ginger in the sponge. I guess that's why it was paired with rhubarb originally. I often add ginger to the crumble bit of rhubarb crumble. But I bet it was really good with plums and what a lovely colour those plums are. Wouldn't have thought of using maple syrup, so must remember to give that a try. So hot here at the moment, I'm not quite in the mood for hot puddings, but it's meant to be going cooler and wetter next week, so who knows :)

  4. We're celebrating National Gingerbread Day tomorrow here. Why? I'm not quite sure. However, Johanna, I'd LOVE to include your link. The pudding sounds delightful! So glad Sylvia is taking such an active role in the kitchen.

    Thank you so much for sharing...

  5. I love that you can put in different ingredients / quantities and still have it turn out well - that equates to a good recipe in my mind. The idea of those flavours coming together is also very appealing (and not something I'd have thought up) so this recipe is definitely getting bookmarked on my laptop :)

    As a side note, I love the 'previously on GGG' section. Really fun to see what was blogged a year ago and so on!

  6. Looks fabulous. I can imagine the spicy gingerbread working so well with the plums. Love the colours too. Bet it great wth some custard

  7. This. Sounds. Amazing. OMG, best thing you've posted this week! Mmmmmm....

  8. thanks quince poacher - yes I love winter desserts too - so hearty and warming

    Thanks C - was talking to another mother today whose kid is the opposite of sylvia and likes everything with sauce and nothing plain - sylvia just seems to like plain and uncooked

    Thanks Choclette - hope you enjoy your heat before the cooler weather comes your way - the maple syrup was great - much more subtle than the golden syrup I tried another time - but full of flavour - and I have never thought of rhubarb with ginger but I can see it would work

    Thanks Louise - glad I got in just in time for gingerbread day - sounds a great reason for more gingerbread but who needs excuses - yes pleas use the link

    Thanks Kari - I was particularly worried about the Self Raising flour but it didn't seem a problem - though I wondered if it was why it took longer to cook??? Hope you enjoy it. Glad you like the previously on GGGiraffe - I started it as a way to remind people of all the other posts on the blog.

    Thanks Katie - I did think of custard when cooking it and then forgot - thanks for the reminder

    Thanks Hannah - it was amazing - though 'gulp' I think I have only posted about plums last week - just one of those weeks of non-recipe posts due to lack of time to write up recipes

  9. Hey Johanna, I was about to say to add it to the bookmarked recipes challenge, but I see you have. I added it to the linky for you.

    Sounds mighty tasty. I would love it with custard!

  10. The combo of apples and plums sounds very good here. . . though I came to love cooked plums a couple of years ago and would be happy with them all by themselves. We don't have a little one to accommodate with dinner, but somehow by the time we walk the dogs and get moving, we've been eating after 8:00 lately, too. . . too late fo rme!

  11. What a wonderful collection of flavours: ginger, plum, cinnamon, vanilla, nutmeg, apple, maple syrup... mmmm, this definitely sounds like my kind of dessert! I am seriously craving some of this on this rather unusual cold and cloudy California day!

  12. This sounds fab - I love gingerbread. I went to the Food and Wine Show on the weekend and bought some non-alcoholic Dickensian ginger drinks - I can't wait to try them in my cooking.

  13. Such a sweet comfort and delight. I am ga-ga for gingerbread, and good local plums will arrive here in next month or so. And I *love* treacle, although it is a special order in these parts; golden syrup, on other hand, is readily available, but the two are just not the same.

  14. Yumm what a perfect homey dessert!


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