You first parents of the human race…who ruined yourself for an apple, what might you have done for a truffled turkey?” 

Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin

I like cookbooks and I like cookbooks that contextualise their recipes. They are more familiar than airport novels and less demanding than countless tomes of non-fiction – although I have wasted some hours reading both. Cookbooks are a response to a real life, enquiringly led. They placate the necessity of food, they hold out a promise of pleasure and they offer a cosy security to all who wish to engage. Exciting and well-written cookbooks volunteer a pledge to make you feel better, and in turn make everyone who joins your table feel better.

Some in my collection arrived as press copies, others with a fanfare of fashionable hubris and some were clearly bought in error, but some slid quietly in and continued to delight long after a cursory scan had waned. These are the books that offer welcome surprises when one’s kitchen inspiration slumps a little.

One such modest publication still offers the family go-to recipe for autumn. As dozens of Granny Smith and Bramley apples drop daily from the tree, it’s as much as one kitchen can exploit, and although alternative recipes are continually sought, this one goes the distance. Decorously named after the biblical figure and her furtive temptation, the recipe was first recorded in the 19th century.

Eve’s Pudding from English Traditional Recipes – A Heritage of Food and Cooking (2015) Annette Yates

115 g butter

115 g caster sugar

2 eggs, beaten

Grated rind and juice of 1 lemon

90 g self-raising flour

0 g ground almonds

115 g brown sugar

600 g cooking apples, cored and sliced

25 g flaked almonds

Pre-heat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas 4

Beat together the butter and caster sugar in a large mixing bowl until the mixture is light and fluffy

Gradually beat the eggs into the butter mixture, beating well after each addition then fold in the lemon, rind flour and ground almonds

Mix the brown sugar, apples and lemon juice and tip the mixture into an ovenproof dish, spreading it out evenly

Spoon the sponge mixture over the top in an even layer and right to the edges

Sprinkle the almonds over the top

Put in the oven and cook for 40-45 minutes until risen and golden brown

Wine thoughts

In the southern part of Bordeaux, Noble Rot (Botrytis) is a welcome mould which punctures the skin of the Sauvignon and Sémillon grapes allowing water to evaporate, thereby concentrating the sweet juice which, after fermentation, becomes a glorious dessert wine; Sauternes. A glass of Sauternes is guaranteed to float your boat when partnering this pudding. Soft flavours of honey, ripe apricots and even barley sugar line your mouth with sweet fruit yet still provide a taut, refreshing finish. A versatile dessert wine that will proffer a quiet crescendo at the end of your pudding .