Fruit Puddings


Plum Sponge Pudding

  • 500g (1lb) ripe plums – washed, halved and stoned.
  • 50gm (2oz) sugar.
  • 1 dsp water.

For the sponge:

  • 75g ( 3oz) butter or margarine, 75g (3oz) castor sugar, 110g (4oz) SR flour
  • 2 large eggs, ¼ tsp baking powder.


  1. Stew the plums with the sugar and water until lightly cooked. Cool
  2. Cream the butter and sugar and gradually beat in the lightly whisked eggs.
  3. Sieve the baking powder and salt. Fold it into the creamed mixture.
  4. Put the partially cooked plums in the bottom of a pie dish and cover with the cake mixture.
  5. Bake in a moderate oven(180°C, no5 gas) for approx. 40 mins. Reduce the temperature slightly to prevent the cake mixture from burning, if necessary.
  6. Serve with crème fraîche, cream or ice-cream.

Plum Pie

  • 500g (1lb) ripe plums – washed, halved and stoned.
  • 100g (4oz) sugar.

For the short crust pastry:

  • 175g (6oz) plain flour
  • 80g (3oz) margarine or butter.
  • Pinch salt.
  • Approx. 6 tsp cold water.


  1. Sieve the flour and salt.
  2. Rub in the margarine until like fine breadcrumbs.
  3. Add the water to ensure the mixture forms a firm dough – don’t make it too wet.

To make up the pie:

  1. Prepare the fruit and layer with the sugar in a pie dish. The dish should be well filled as it will reduce during cooking.
  2. Roll out the pastry. Use a few slices from the side to line the edge of the pie dish the top the pie with the pastry. Seal the edges.
  3. Bake in a hot oven (200°C, no 6 gas) until the pastry is golden/light brown, then reduce the temperature to ensure the fruit is cooked – approx 40 minutes in total.
  4. Sprinkle the top with caster sugar and serve with custard or whipped cream.

– Recipe by M. McCartney ©

Apple and Blackberry Pie

I can’t believe that my old college cookery book has no recipe for blackberry pie. When I was a child this was definitely the dish I waited for all year. We went out blackberry picking when I was very young – my mother said that I ate more than I picked. In wet years, the blackberries may have been full of maggots – well each berry may have had its pet maggot but, I soon learned to ignore them in favour of the berries themselves. Blackberries are one of the real wild fruits available to us as the ‘brambles’ – the plants they come from are very hardy, deep-rooted, tenacious, so – are particularly difficult to eradicate. So, let’s make the most of them.

Ingredients – for a 1 litre (1½ – 2 pint) pie dish:

  • 2 good-sized cooking apples – Bramleys for preference.
  • 1 good sized punnet of blackberries( 1lb or 450 -500gm). The amount is not critical. The fruit must fit into your pie dish to fill it well.(the fruit will drop as it cooks).
  • 3 Tblsp. sugar.
  • Short crust pastry.
  • 150g plain flour (6oz).
  • 75g margarine or butter (3oz).
  • 6 tsp cold water approx.(this amount may vary slightly depending on the weather and the flour you are using – you need the ingredients to bind together without being sticky).


  1. Sieve the flour and salt into a baking bowl. Add the margarine and rub in with your finger tips to create a texture like fine breadcrumbs – don’t allow the mixture to become sticky.
  2. Add the water slowly to ensure the ingredients combine without becoming too soft.
  3. Knead gently to combine the ingredients for a short time – 1 minute.

Making the Pie:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C, Mark 6 gas
  2. Peel. Core and slice the apples and place half of them in the pie dish.
  3. Put in a layer of blackberries and a layer of the sugar.
  4. Repeat this process until the dish is full.
  5. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured board to ½ cm thick approx.(¼in)to the shape of the pie dish. Cut off a strip of pastry wide enough to go around the rim of the dish
  6. Wet the edges of the pie dish with water and apply the strip to the edges. Wet the top of the pastry strip with water.
  7. Put the pastry on top of the pie. Trim and seal the edges. Put a small slit on the top of the pie to allow the steam to escape.
  8. Bake for about 15 – 20 minutes then reduce the temperature and bake for a further 15 – 20 minutes to ensure the fruit is cooked. Don’t allow the pastry to burn
  9. When baked, sprinkle the top with a little caster sugar immediately and serve with cream, ice-cream or crème fraîche.

Gooseberry Sponge Pudding

1 bag/tub of frozen gooseberries [ 350g or 12oz approx] – fresh are good too.
2 Tblsp sugar. You may need a little more as freezing can make the fruit sourer
1 spoonful of water


•Defrost the gooseberries.

•Put them with the sugar and a spoonful of water into a saucepan and heat gently until the sugar has dissolved. Simmer until the fruit has cooked and is pulped. Don’t allow it to ‘catch’.

•Place in a greased pie dish and leave to cool

The topping

80 gm [3oz] butter – softened
80gm [3oz] castor sugar
2 eggs
110gm [4oz] self raising flour


•Cream the butter and sugar together until pale and creamy.

•Gradually work in the lightly whisked eggs.

•Fold in the sieved self-raising flour.

•Spread the mixture over the gooseberries in the pie dish., ensuring they are completely covered.

•Bake in a moderate oven [180°C, No 4 Gas] for 40 – 45 minutes.

•Serve hot with crème fraiche, cream or custard.

– Recipe by M. McCartney ©