Quiet moments are often few and far between, but when one sits waiting on my doorstep begging to be noticed I really must comply. Today was such a day. I awoke even before the sun pressed it's way through my curtain. I lay snuggled under my pile of quilts with visions dancing in my head of the fresh apples I had just had the pleasure to meet yesterday. I lazily flipped through my recipe ideas, taste-testing each one in my mind to see what might serve to lure me to the kitchen. It was then I recalled a precious little cookbook given to me by my favorite niece. Surely there was something delicious hidden in the pages that would capture the true essence of apple-scented seasonal sweets. My curiosity had won, and I crawled from my bed, slipped on my puffy pink slippers, and tip-toed to the kitchen. First, coffee, then...cookbook. The rest is history!
For those of you who love Little House on the Prairie as much as I do, the following recipe is described in Farmer Boy.
1/2 teaspoon butter 1 teaspoon cream of tarter
6 tart apples (about 2 pounds) 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup packed brown sugar 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg 1/2 cup powdered sugar
3 eggs 1 pint heavy cream
1 cup whole milk 1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon maple extract
2-quart baking dish; apple corer and paring knife; 2-quart bowl; 12-inch platter; 1-quart bowl
Preheat the oven 350 degrees. Butter the baking dish. Peel and core the apples and place them in the dish. Fill the holes with brown sugar, pressing slightly, and sprinkle half the nutmeg on top. Place in the preheated oven to start baking while you prepare the batter.
Separate the eggs, putting the yolks in the larger bowl and the whites on the platter. Beat the whites with a fork or whisk until they no longer slip from the tilted platter. Beat the yolks until they change color; stir in milk and maple extract. In the smaller bowl mix together flour, cream of tartar, baking powder, salt, and any remaining brown sugar. Stir this mixture quickly into the liquid. Fold the egg whites into this thin batter.
Pour the batter evenly over and around the partly cooked apples and return the dish to the oven. Bake until the crust has browned, another 45 minutes to 1 hour.
While the pudding bakes, stir the powdered sugar and remaining nutmeg into a pitcher of heavy cream. Take the finished pudding directly to the table before it "falls" and turn each serving onto a plate so the apple is "nested in the fluffy crust."
Pass the pitcher of sweetened cream.
Walker, Barbara. "Birds'-Nest Pudding." The Little House Cookbook. New York: Harper, 2018. 176. Print.