Select a pan large enough to hold the puddings comfortably, half fill it with water, and bring to a simmer. Salt the water, add the puddings and poach very gently for 15 minutes; on no account let the water boil as this will destroy the puddings’ appearance and taste, and dry them out. While they are simmering, prepare and cook the apple. Heat a ridged grill pan to very hot as well.
What type of apple is your choice, but do not use cookers unless you want to serve the pudding with apple sauce (however, not such a bad idea). Any well-flavoured native type would be ideal.
Heat a frying pan on a moderate flame, toss in the butter and as soon as it melts add the apple segments. Sauté, still over the same heat, until golden brown; do not overcrowd the pan or stir the apples around too much, as both will produce mushy fruit. Turn the slices carefully with a spatula once or, at a stretch, twice during the sautéeing, which will only take 2 or 3 minutes anyway. Season the apples with
Lift the puddings from their liquor and drain for a few moments. Place on the hot grill and allow to brown for 2 minutes without disturbing them at all. Turn them and give the other side a further 2 minutes. Do not get too fancy with this grilling process, a partial marking and crisping of the skin is all we are after.
You may need to reheat the apple segments, a low oven for 3-4 minutes would do. Personally I wouldn’t bother. Always offer a good mustard.
© 1999 Alastair Little. All rights reserved.