50 g (2 oz) sunflower margarine, plus extra for greasing
50 g (2 oz) caster sugar
50 g (2 oz) self-raising flour
25 g (1 oz) ground almonds
¼ teaspoon baking powder
1 egg
grated rind and juice of 1 lemon
1 dessert apple, quartered, cored and sliced
1 tablespoon apricot jam
75 g (3 oz) instant powdered custard with sweetener, to serve


1.Preheat the slow cooker if necessary. Grease the base and sides of a 15 cm (6 inch) round ovenproof dish, about 6 cm (2½ inches) deep, with a little margarine, checking first that it will fit in the slow cooker pot.
2.Place the margarine, sugar, flour, almonds and baking powder in a food processor, add the egg and lemon rind and blend until smooth.
3.Spoon into the dish and spread level. Toss the apple slices with the lemon juice, then overlap in a ring on top of the pudding mixture.
4.Cover the dish with greased foil and put in the slow cooker pot.
5.Pour boiling water into the slow cooker pot to come halfway up the sides of the dish, cover and cook on high for 3-3½ hours until a knife comes out cleanly when inserted into the centre.
6.Dot the top of the pudding with the apricot jam, then gently spread into an even layer. Place under a preheated hot grill for 3-4 minutes until the top is lightly caramelized.
7.Make the custard with boiling water according to packet instructions and serve with the pudding.
8.FOR CHOCOLATE & PEAR PUDDING, follow the recipe above to make the pudding base, using 1 tablespoon cocoa powder instead of the lenmon rind.
9.Quarter, core and slice 1 small pear, toss with the lemon juice, then arrange over the pudding mixture.
10.Cover and bake as above, then dust the top with a little sifted icing sugar before serving.

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