This is what I did:
- Mixed 1.5 lb of ground cherries and sliced peeled cooking apples with 1oz demerara sugar, 1 tbsp honey and the grated zest of 1/2 a lemon.
- Put these into a buttered baking dish and baked at 180C for about 10 minutes until fruit had started to soften.
- Meanwhile, mixed 2oz polenta in a bowl with 1oz flour (wholemeal spelt), 1 tsp baking powder, 2oz granulated sugar, a pinch of salt and zest of 1/2 lemon (unwaxed and organic).
- Made a well in the centre and added 1 duck egg, 2oz melted unsalted butter, juice of 1 lemon and enough milk to make a good dropping consistency.
- Spooned over the apples and baked for 25 mins until the sponge was risen and golden.
One of the reasons I like Sophie's version is that it uses lemons. This one turned out a bit too lemony as I used an enormous specimen which had masses of juice in it; this was a small price to pay for a rather fabulous but simple pudding. Using polenta gives the sponge a bit of texture, which I like. It also gave the whole pudding a beautiful autumnal glow, the yellow polenta almost matching the golden ground cherries. The juice of the fruit bubbling at the base is absorbed into the bottom of the sponge which makes it delightfully moist. In effect there are three layers created: the fruit itself, the gooey sponge and a crisp yet light top. We had it hot from the oven with clotted cream - of course!