Self-saucing puddings are one of the easiest puddings to make. They are pretty much a cake batter covered with a liquid mixture that sinks down below the cakey-top to form a sticky rich gooey sauce as it cooks.
The trouble with the sticky rich gooey sauce is that it is made up of sugar, sugar and more sugar so it is very sweet. To help cut through this rich sweetness I have added fresh fruit to the pudding and reduced the sugar in both the batter and the sauce. Adding fruit adds a refreshing texture & flavour counterpoint to the sauce & cake and really, what pudding isn’t improved by adding some fruit? White chocolate cheesecake sounds great, but chuck in some raspberries or lemon and it transforms from great to really really great.
Gingerbread is a versatile flavour that pairs well with most fruits – so far, we’ve had feijoa, persimmon, rhubarb and tamarillo. I use equal quantities of apple and whatever seasonal fruit I’m using as apple is a great filler fruit which helps the budget. 1 cup of peeled & diced tamarillo is about 3-4 fruit, while one large persimmon will do the trick. Note that this is the persimmon that can be eaten when crunchy ie a Fuyu or other non-astringent type of persimmon. As an aside, we had a visitor last month who arrived with a bag of persimmons that had been gifted to them. The giver had decided to pop a few astringent persimmons in as a joke…… the Mopp, who had just decided he didn’t mind persimmons after all and was scoffing them down as he usually would apples, unfortunately got one of the mouth puckering sour-bitter persimmons and it may have just put him off the fruit for life.
For the apple, I used one large Fuji (I didn’t peel the apples nor the persimmons but that’s personal preference). The Anster has created this pudding several times using just apples and he grates the apple instead of dicing it. That works too but I prefer the texture of the diced apple. Something we agree to disagree on as he also grates the apple for the crumble and I think it is better when the fruit is diced. His argument is if you want the fruit diced, you make the crumble which I think is fair enough.
If you wish to “flash” up the pudding a little more, use dark muscavado sugar and coconut sugar in place of regular brown and white sugar. Similarly with the apple syrup, we have tried both golden syrup and date molasses as well and each gives a slightly different taste dimension. And for the coconut milk, use any milk – regular dairy milk, almond milk, soy milk – whatever your fridge or pantry contains and whichever your diet can cope with.