Pommes et Abricots a PAncienne

A delicious pudding to end that special meal, Pommes et Abricots a VAncienne (pohm ay ab-bree-coh ah l’on-see-cn) may be served on its own or, if you prefer, with whipped cream or ice-cream.4 oz. stale cake crumbs

3 tablespoons rum

5 oz. plus

1 tablespoon sugar

12 fl. oz. water vanilla pod eating apples, peeled, cored and thickly sliced

4 apricots, stoned and thickly sliced

1 oz. plus

1 teaspoon butter, melted

6 fl. oz. Apple Sauce

3 tablespoons slivered almonds

6 tablespoons apricot jam

3 tablespoons rum

Arrange the cake crumbs in a shallow dish and pour over the rum. Set the dish aside for 30 minutes or until the crumbs have absorbed most of the rum.

Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, dis-solve the 5 ounces of sugar in the water with the vanilla pod over moderate heat, stirring constantly until the sugar has dissolved. Reduce the heat to low and cook the syrup for 6 minutes, without stirring. Add the apples and apricots to the pan and spoon over the syrup to coat them thoroughly. Cover the pan and poach the fruit gently, basting and turning them in the syrup from time to time, for 10 minutes or until they are tender but still firm.

Preheat the oven to moderate 350°F (Gas Mark 4,180°C). With the 1 teaspoon of butter, lightly grease a 2-pint souffle or baking dish and set aside.

When the fruit is done, remove the pan from the heat and remove and discard the vanilla pod. Using a slotted spoon, remove the fruit from the pan and arrange them in the prepared baking dish. Pour over 4 fluid ounces of the poaching liquid and discard the rest.

Spoon over the cake crumb mixture, to cover the fruit completely. Then spread over the apple sauce. Sprinkle the almonds on top, then the remaining sugar and the remaining melted butter.

Place the dish in the oven and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until the topping is lightly browned. Remove the dish from the oven and set aside.

Meanwhile, make the sauce. In a small saucepan, heat the jam over moderate heat, stirring constantly until it is hot and has thinned slightly. Pour in the rum and continue mixing until the sauce is hot but not boiling and the ingredients are well blended.

Remove the pan from the heat and pour the sauce over the fruit mixture in the dish. Serve at once.

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