I absolutely love it when I’m challenged by food brands to create recipes with their ingredients, especially when it’s a brand I already support, like the Belgian brand Imperial which I unfortunately can not find in Ireland. Either way, the challenge was simple: create a lactose free pudding recipe. Well simply, I’ve never made lactose free pudding before and I never even used soy milk or other lactose free alternatives to milk. The one thing I did know is that I didn’t want to make something too traditional like layers of pudding or just a fruit pie with a pudding layer so I started brainstorming and trying out different ideas, until I found something called pudding cakes, where you basically end up with half pudding half cake.
I decided to add some extra flavour to my pudding cake by adding lemons, and since my cakes somehow never look all that pretty I went for a “cover up operation” on top by making apple roses, which has become a big trend recently thanks to French chef Alain Passard, who came up with an apple rose tart in 2013. (Side note, here’s a interesting Youtube video where Alain talks about his creation). I was expecting the roses to go off that same day but somehow they stayed intact the next day as well.
Now please don’t leave this page if you think you’ll never be able to make this pie, or those roses. I am as clumsy as they get and I still managed to do it! If you are really worried, try the folding technique by cutting up some pieces of paper so you’ll have the motion in your fingers when you actually start with the apples.
Serves: 4 people (1 slice each)
- 2 small eggs
- 25g vanilla pudding powder
- 200ml soy milk or rice milk
- 10g vanilla sugar
- 100g sugar
- juice of 1 small lemon
- 15g all purpose flour*
- 3 red apples
- optional: icing sugar as a finishing touch
*When using gluten-free flour, add just the tip of teaspoon of xanthan gum as well
Preheat your oven to 160°C and grease up your baking tin with some butter.
Let’s start by separating those eggs, and make sure to put the egg whites in a clean, grease free bowl. Put the egg yolks in a different bowl along with the sugar, vanilla sugar, lemon juice and soy milk. Mix it all together really well, add the flour and pudding powder and mix some more.
Now get your mixer all cleaned up and switch to the bowl with egg whites. Beat them together until you get snow white peaks. Slowly scoop this into the other mixture (do not mix this but use a spoon!) and slowly stir it together. Grease up your ramekins and pour the batter into them and pop in the oven for about 15-20 minutes. The result? Pudding at the bottom and a soft cake on top.
Time to get started on those apple roses! Slice an apple in half (from top to bottom) and put the apple down with the inside on the bottom, to make it easier to slice and chop of the bottom piece. Try to slice really thin slices, they’ll be easier to fold than thicker ones.
Drizzle just a few drops of lemon juice on top of the apple slices and put them in a microwave for 40 seconds – 1 minute, depending on the thickness of your slices. This will heat up the slices, making them soft so they become easy to fold. Do not put too many slices in the one go in the microwave and don’t put any of the slices on top of the other.
Now for the roses we start by rolling up one of the slices, and then simply arrange other slices around it like rose petals. You can go for as many or as little layers of petals as you prefer, I used about 4 slices of apple per rose, including the center. Once your rose is ready, gently push it into the pudding and continue with the next one. Dust some powdered/icing sugar on top and enjoy