America doesn’t make many steamed puddings anymore. It’s a shame really. My mom tells me of the ones she remembers having as a child. I suppose proper steamed puddings didn’t fit in with the newer, faster, easier ethos of second half of the twentieth century.
To be honest I don’t make spotted dick all that often, it is not that it’s difficult, (it is kind of the starter model for steamed puddings) just that I have to render and grate my own suet. Since it seems that to few people use suet for anything other than birds it is almost completely impossible to find outside a specialty shop. Unrendered suet is often stocked in the meat department during winter (presumably for those who make bird food). The first time I was in a desperate bind for some, I had to do up my first Christmas Pudding and they don’t carry suet that early in the year, I ended up having to go try to explain to the Portuguese butcher what it was I wanted and where it came from. He looked at me a bit oddly, but he went back to the locker and cut some off the carcass for me anyway.
But anyway, back in the present tense, it’s My birthday and anybody can have cake, I want a pudding. What better excuse to make up a Spotted Dick and some custard. Mmmm custard, I have a fondness for custard that is so strong it may be genetic. Now, where does one put candles on a pudding?
There are a lot of recipes out there, but this is a good ol’ timy one.
The bill for mine is;
- 1 c. flour
- 1/2 T. baking powder
- 1 c. shredded suet (about 3 oz.)
- 1 c. fresh made breadcrumbs
- 1 1/2 c. currants, or raisins, or some combination
- 5 T. sugar (white, brown, or mixed)
- pinch of salt
- 1/2 t. of mixed spice
- zest of 1 lemon or orange
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1/2 c. of milk or so, enough to make a “dropping” consistency
- Grease a 2 pint pudding basin (or heatproof bowl that holds about 4 cups or so).
- In a large bowl mix the flour and the baking powder.
- Mix in the shredded suet, breadcrumbs, currants, sugar, salt, mixed spice, and lemon zest.
- Mix in the beaten egg and 1/2 cup of milk. Add a little more milk if necessary, but it should be a fairly thick batter.
- Pour the mixture in the pudding basin and cover with a layer of parchment paper and aluminum foil. Tie around the rim and leave a string handle to remove the basin from the steamer.
- Place the pudding in a large pot (make sure there is a trivet or something on the bottom of the pot so the basin is not directly on the bottom). Put in enough hot water to come 1/2 to 2/3rds the way up the side of the basin. Cover and steam for 1 & 1/2 to 2 hours.
- Serve with some lovely custard sauce.
- 4 eggs
- 3 tbsp. sugar
- 1 cup milk
- 1½ tsp. vanilla extract
- Whisk eggs and sugar in a bowl until fluffy.
- Bring milk to a boil in a saucepan. While whisking constantly, slowly pour milk into egg mixture.
- Return mixture to saucepan; heat over low heat, whisking frequently until sauce is very thick, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.