Who was Jan Ellis? Jan Ellis was a well-known Springbok
rugby player in the 1960s and 70s, and held the record for most-capped Springbok player of all time when he retired (38 caps). Legend has it that this was his favourite pudding and to this day it bears his name. I have to say that the man had good taste.
There are a number of puddings in South Africa that are very similar, Malva pudding, Tipsy tart, Cape Brandy pudding, Vinegar pudding and Jan Ellis pudding to name the most well known. These desserts are both cake-like in texture and steeped in a rich sauce that is poured over the hot pudding when it is removed from the oven. There are minor differences in the ingredients that influence the end product in both texture and flavor, the addition of vinegar is one of the main differences, as is the kind of sauce poured over the pudding. Jan Ellis pudding does not contain vinegar and the sauce is made with butter and cream. This recipe can very easily be doubled or even trebled. I try to not make too large a quantity unless we have guests because I have zero willpower and it will all finish very quickly on my hips before you know it.
As it came out the oven
Pouring on the sauce, my dish was a bit small so made a mess and I had to pour very slowly and wait for it to absorb but all good in the end
Sauce being absorbed!
Serves 2 to 3
3/4 cup of self-raising flour
1 Tbsp apricot jam
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 Tbsp softened butter
a pinch of salt
for the syrup:
1/2 cup boiling water
1/2 cup cream
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
Preheat the oven to 180 C / 360 F
Dissolve the baking soda in the milk and set aside
Mix all the other ingredients together well
Add the milk and mix until smooth
Pour into a baking dish and bake for 30-40 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.
Mix the sauce ingredients in a saucepan and bring to the boil, while stirring
Pour the hot sauce over the pudding as soon as it is taken from the oven
Loosen the edges of the pudding so that the sauce can seep into the base
Do not worry that it looks like there is way too much sauce, it will eventually all be absorbed
All these traditional baked desserts that are steeped in syrup (e.g., Malvapoeding, Jan Ellis pudding and Tipsy Tart) should be well baked before the sauce is added. Rather bake a few minutes longer to avoid a moist center, as a moist tart will turn gummy when the syrup is added.