My Great Aunt Jessie, whom I never met, is something of a legend in my mind. She was a formidable woman. She yelled a lot. I think my mom and the other kids thought she was kind of mean. But the woman could cook. Oh, god could she cook! Many of my mom's standard recipes are from Auntie Jesse.
One of my favorite comfort desserts is her Hasty Apple Pudding. It's not pretty, but it's warm and luscious and homey. My mom used to make it. Then she taught me to make it. I made a version for two tonight using the lovely pears in the photo and flavouring the sauce with some star anise.
Here's the full recipe. The halved one needs some tweaking. But this one would be perfect for a cold night and a family of four. Ice cream isn't absolutely necessary, but certainly wouldn't be amiss.
Hasty Apple/Pear Pudding
4-6 apples or pears
Slice the fruit and place them in a pan with a dusting of cinnamon.
50 g butter
100 g white sugar (flavored with a vanilla bean if that's what you've got!)
250 g plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
a pinch of salt
Cream the butter and sugar, then beat in the egg.
Alternate between the dry ingredients and the milk til blended. Spoon over the pears.
250g brown sugar
1 tablespoon butter (that's 15 grams if you're weighing things. I like to weigh things. Spoons, lemons, pinches...)
1 tablespoon flour
a star anise for the pears or a tiny splash of vanilla for apples
Mix all the ingredients in a pot and let boil for five minutes. Pour over battered fruit.
Toss in the oven for 30 minutes or until the cake is done.