Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Daring Bakers: Traditional British Pudding

Daring Bakers Logo- Vanilla Fairy

Our Daring Bakers host for the month, Esther of The Lilac Kitchen must have been reading my mind because she choose the one item that I have been dying to make for the last 4 1/2 years, a very British steamed pudding.  Specifically, spotted dick.  My roommate and I ate numerous servings of spotted dick and custard at a nearby chip shop when we were studying in London.  Of course, at first we giggled at the name being the immature college kids we were at the time but we definitely weren't giggling when we chowed down on the delicious spongy puddings.  Since then I've wanted to try and recreate the recipe at home but I had no idea where to start.  Here are some pictures of that first taste.


Sigh...yummy memories.

A reader sent me a recipe a few months ago and it has been on my to do list since.  I did use the recipe provided by Esther for the purposes of this challenge, though it was very similar to the one I was given previously.  Now that I've made this version and know how simple it is to make, I will definitely be making the other version as soon as I can.

I didn't have the traditional ingredient of currants handy so I used dried cranberries instead.  I also substituted crisco for suet.  No matter where I looked, I could not find fresh or boxed suet.  My only option was to buy online so I just used criso since I had plenty in the pantry.

Another baker suggested steaming the puddings in the oven versus on the stove top.  This was perfect for me because I didn't have the necessary equipment to steam on the stove top but I could use what I had for the oven.  I decided to make 3 smaller puddings from the full recipe and cooked them in 3-6oz ramekins.  I cooked them at 280° for about 1 hour and 15 minutes.

Steamed British Pudding

Steamed British Pudding

They came out perfectly!  I didn't have any major leakage with the oven steaming though one rose to the edge of the ramekin.  Taste wise they were almost exactly as I remembered (minus the cranberries of course).  Buttery, lemony, rich, and well...just plain amazing.  I'm not sure how to describe it adequately.  A slightly lemony sponge cake studded with tart cranberries that was so wonderfully delicious.  And positively sinful.  

Steamed British Pudding

I topped the pudding with a homemade custard sauce that I was less than pleased with.  This made a great dessert and a wonderful breakfast the next day.  For breakfast, I served it slightly heated up and without the custard sauce.

Thanks to our host Esther for the great recipe!  I'll have to try the other type of pudding (suet crust) that she offered as well.  I had a tasty steak (no kidney pie) in near Windsor Castle that I would love to try again.

To see more variations of traditional British puddings, have a look at the Daring Bakers blogroll!   

Type 1 Puddings — suet crusts.

Pudding Crust for both Savoury Pudding or Sweet Pudding (using suet or a suet substitute):
(250 grams/12 ounces) Self-raising flour (Note* If you cannot find self-raising flour, use a combination of all-purpose flour and baking powder.)
(175 grams/6 ounces) Shredded suet or suet substitute (i.e., Vegetable Suet, Crisco, Lard)
(a pinch) Salt and pepper (Note* If making a savory dish, can be replaced with spices for sweet if wished.)
(210 millilitres/a little less than a cup) Water (Note* You can use a milk or a water and milk mix for a richer pastry.)
1. Mix the flour and suet together.
2. Season the flour and suet mixture with salt and pepper if savory and just a bit of salt and/or spices if sweet.
3. Add the water, a tablespoonful at a time, as you mix the ingredients together. Make up the pastry to firm an elastic dough that leaves the bowl clean. The liquid amounts are only an estimate and most recipes just say water to mix.
4. Don’t over handle the pastry or it will be too hard.
5. Reserve a quarter for the lid and roll out the rest and line a well-greased bowl.
6. At this point add your filling.. a couple of options are give below but have fun and go wild!
7. Roll the final piece of pastry out into a circle big enough to cover the top of the basin, dampen the edges and put in position on the pudding, pinching the edges together to seal.
8. Seal well and cover with a double sheet of foil – pleated in the centre to allow room for expansion while cooking. Secure with string, and place it in a steamer over boiling water.
9. Steam for up to 5 hours, you may need to add more boiling water halfway through or possibly more often. There is a lot of leeway in this steaming time and different recipes give different steaming times. Delia Smith says 5 hours for Steak and kidney where as Mrs Beeton says 2.5 for a similar dish! One way to tell that it is cooked is when the pastry changes colour and goes from white to a sort of light golden brown. It is also hard to over steam a pudding so you can leave it bubbling away until you are ready.

Savoury Pudding Filling options: steak and kidney pudding.
1 full amount of suet crust (see recipe above)
(450 grams/about 1 pound) Chuck steak
(225 grams/about 1/2 a pound) Ox kidney
1 medium-sized onion
2 teaspoons well-seasoned flour
splash of Worcestershire sauce
1. Chop the steak and kidney into fairly small cubes, toss them in seasoned flour, then add them to the pastry lined basin.
2. Pop the onion slices in here and there.
3. Add enough cold water to reach almost to the top of the meat and sprinkle in a few drops of Worcestershire sauce and season with salt and pepper.
4. Follow the rest of the instructions in the crust recipe to finish pudding.
5. Cook for at least 2.5 hours (Mrs Beeton) up to 5 hours (Delia Smith).
Sweet Pudding Options: Sussex Pond Pudding
1 amount of suet pastry (see recipe above)
(120 grams/4.2 ounces) Demerara Sugar
(120 grams/4.2 ounces) unsalted butter
1 large lemon
1. Cut the butter into small pieces and put half in the basin with half the sugar.
2. Prick the whole lemon (preferably one with a thin skin) all over, using a thick skewer.
3. Place on top of the butter and sugar in the basin.
4. Cover with the rest of the butter and sugar.
5. Finish building the pudding as per the pastry recipe.
6. Steam for 3 ½ hours, or longer (for a really tender lemon), adding more water if needed.
7. To serve, turn the pudding into a dish with a deep rim, when you slice into it the rich lemon sauce will gush out.
8. Make sure each person is served some of the suet crust, lemon and tangy luscious sauce.
Type 2 puddings – Steamed Suet Pudding, sponge type.
(100 grams/4 ounces) All-purpose flour
(1/4 teaspoon) salt
(1.5 teaspoons) Baking powder
(100 grams/4 ounces) breadcrumbs
(75 grams/3 ounces) Caster sugar
(75 grams/ 3 ounces) Shredded suet or suet substitute (i.e., Vegetable Suet, Crisco, Lard)
(1) large egg
(6 to 8 tablespoons) Cold milk
1. Sift flour, salt and baking powder into bowl.
2. Add breadcrumbs, sugar and suet.
3. Mix to a soft batter with beaten egg and milk
4. Turn into a buttered 1 litre/ 2pint pudding basin and cover securely with buttered greaseproof paper or aluminum foil.
5. Steam steadily for 2.5 to 3 hours
6. Turn out onto warm plate, Serve with sweet sauce to taste such as custard, caramel or a sweetened fruit sauce.
Spotted Dick - Add 75g/ 3oz currants and 25g/1 oz of mixed chopped peel with the sugar.Syrup or Treacle or Marmalade Pudding – put 2 Tablespoons of golden syrup, treacle or marmalade at the bottom of the bowl before adding pudding mix.My Fair Lady Pudding – Add finely grated rind of 1 medium orange or lemon with the sugar.Ginger Pudding – replace the sugar with 100g/4oz of treacle, and add 1/2 tsp ground ginger.


3 Treats for Charlie:

sasasunakku said...

I'm still that immature person giggling at the name but this looks delish so maybe I better shut up ;P They look so fluffy and light too, though boiled pudding usually doesn't conjure that image.

The Betz Family said...

That looks great! I wish I would have tried steaming them in the oven instead of on the stovetop, then maybe it would have put less condensation in the air. Oh well! Your pudding looks great! Nice job on the challenge.

Lori said...

You did a great job with the challenge! It looks so yummy!

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