Heritage Apple Pudding Recipe

Richard Corrigan's Heritage Apple Pudding

To celebrate this St. Patrick’s Day, we asked our Chef Patron, Richard Corrigan, to share a special recipe with us. Fit for the occasion, he’s recommended a stunning Apple Pudding, bursting with vibrant apples, a good splash of brandy, and perfect to share with friends and loved ones. 

Down on the farm, Priscilla, Joanne and our garden team are hard at work with the spoils of Spring, and our apple orchard is beginning to wake up from its winter slumber. With mulch and feeding material added to the ground, we’re now eagerly awaiting the first buds and blossoms of the year. 

A Story From Chef Richard Corrigan... 

“I love a good old-fashioned crisp apple, with that real burst of individual flavour that you get from traditional varieties. When I was growing up we and all our neighbours had fruit trees and there were orchards all over Britain and Ireland, planted with local varieties of apple with names most people haven't heard of these days, like Pig's Snout, native to Louth, Green Chisel from Donegal, Irish Molly from Kilkenny, and Ross Nonpareil, from my county of Meath. Since the 1960s, though, orchards have disappeared on a massive scale as small farms have been encouraged to grub them up to grow other crops or the land has been sold off to developers.
In England, surveys show that there are only around 20,000 hectares of orchards left out of the 80,000 or so recorded in the 1940s. The majority of apples are grown for cider rather than eating, because we import around 70 per cent of our apples - and only a few varieties at that, from around the world; commodified apples, all the same size and colour and tasting bland. Crazy, when you think that there are around 6,000 varieties of English apples alone listed on the national register, and our climate in these islands is perfect for apple growing.
In Ireland, the Seed Saver Association is doing a great job of finding, propagating and growing over 140 traditional varieties of Irish apple trees, in the same way that the Brogdale Horticultural Trust has done over many years in England, and there are small farms throughout Britain and Ireland growing old-fashioned apples who will pack them up in boxes and send them out to you through the post. And, ironically, having marched on with their aisles of Golden Delicious and Granny Smith and little else for so many years, many of the supermarkets are now making a bit of an effort to flag up seasonal local apples in regional stores."


Did you know that nestled within the enchanting surroundings of Virginia Park Lodge, we boast our very own Apple Orchard at Gooseberry Gardens? We’ve gotten some old, classic Irish varieties from the Irish Seed Saver Association, and are working to restore some long forgotten varieties. You can find Cavan Golds, Blood of the Boyne’s, Glenstal Cookers and more.


125g butter
6 heritage apples
A pinch of cinnamon
A good splash of Calvados or brandy
250g stale bread, torn up
250ml milk
Zest of 2 lemons
150g caster sugar, plus extra for dusting
125g ground almonds
4 eggs, separated
A pinch of salt

1 vanilla pod
250ml double cream
125ml milk
3 egg yolks
50g caster sugar

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/Gas 6. Melt 25g of the butter and brush it over the inside of a large earthenware dish, dust with caster sugar, revolving the dish so it is entirely covered, then tap out the excess.

  2. Peel and core the apples and chop into chunky pieces. Put them into a bowl, sprinkle with cinnamon and pour over the Calvados or brandy. Leave to marinate while you make the pudding.

  3. Put the bread into a bowl.

  4. Put the milk into a saucepan with the lemon zest and bring to the boil. Take off the heat and pour over the bread.

  5. In a separate bowl, mix the sugar, ground almonds, egg yolks and salt. Melt the rest of the butter and mix in, then stir in the bread mixture.

  6. Whisk the egg whites until fluffy, then fold into the mixture. Spoon into the buttered and sugared dish and put the apple pieces on top - some will sink in.

  7. Bake for 30 minutes until golden brown and serve immediately.



This is a great, creamy custard, which you can flavour with orange by just adding the zest of 3 oranges to the saucepan along with the vanilla seeds. When elderflowers are in season, you could put in a handful of petals instead of the orange zest. 

  1. Split the vanilla pod in half and scrape the seeds into a saucepan. Add the cream and milk and bring to the boil.

  2. Have ready a shallow bowl of ice big enough to take the base of the saucepan.

  3. Beat the eggs and sugar together in a bowl and pour the hot milk and cream over, mixing well.

  4. Pour back into the saucepan and cook over a low heat, stirring constantly, until the custard thickens. Take the pan off the heat and immediately plunge the base into the bowl of ice to stop the custard cooking any more.