Malva Pudding with home made custard

This is definitely the dessert you want to serve when your whole family comes over for Heritage Day lunch. It will make a large pudding – more than enough for everyone to have a sweet bite after the main meal. And if your crowd is small, you can rely on enormous portions for the Malva lovers or leftover comfort food for the rest of the
week. This pud keeps well in the fridge and can simply be heated up before serving. Oh, and do buy extra cream to make the custard!

Here’s what goes in:

2 tablespoons butter
1 cup treacle or muscovado sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
2 tablespoons apricot jam
2 teaspoons white vinegar
2 cups self-raising flour
Pinch of salt
1 cup milk

For the syrup:

1 cup cream
1 cup treacle or muscovado sugar
½ cup butter
¼ cup hot water
A dash of vanilla extract
For the custard:
6 egg yolks
250ml milk
250ml cream
½ cup castor sugar
1 vanilla pod (or vanilla extract)
2 teaspoons cornflour

How to do it:

Preheat your oven to 180°C. Grease an oven-proof dish measuring about 24 x 30cm. Cream the butter and sugar, add the eggs one by one, and continue to mix until smooth. Combine the apricot jam with the bicarb and vinegar (it will froth a little). Add this to the egg mixture together with the flour and salt, followed by the milk.
Mix until the batter is well combined.

Transfer this into your oven-proof dish and bake for 30 to 35 minutes until a skewer, when inserted into the sponge, comes out clean. Prepare the syrup while you are waiting for the pudding to bake.

In a small saucepan, bring the cream, butter, water, and sugar to the boil, allowing the sugar to just melt, but being careful to not let it boil over. Stir in the vanilla extract. As you take the pudding out of the oven, pour the hot syrup over it so that it seeps in, giving it a rich, sticky texture.

For the custard, warm the milk and cream in a saucepan over low heat. If you have a vanilla pod, you can slice it open lengthways, and drop it into the milk mixture (alternatively, you can add a dash of vanilla extract). Whisk the egg yolks, sugar and cornflour together and slowly stir this into the warm milk (remove the pod if it gets in the way). Don’t allow the mixture to get too hot as the egg will curdle. Move it off the heat from time to time, while stirring, or if you’d prefer, use a double boiler so that you are cooking over steam rather than on direct heat.
Keep stirring until you have a thickened, pale-yellow custard that you can serve warm alongside the pudding. (I find this works best with a silicone balloon whisk).

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