The April 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Esther of The Lilac Kitchen. She challenged everyone to make a traditional British pudding using, if possible, a very traditional British ingredient: suet.
My previous forays into the world of suet have been entirely casserole-and-dumpling-based, so it was interesting to try something new and use suet in a dessert. It was a shame though, as we have been having unseasonable warm and sunny weather in England, that the challenge wasn’t to make something a little lighter!
I decided to go for a Sussex Pond Pudding, as I do like citrus desserts, and got the recipe from good old Delia. Can’t really go wrong with that…
The little brown bits, which you can see in the suet crust, are pieces of grain from the only bread I had left!
The pudding tasted good, if a little heavy for the beautiful sunny day we were having. Thanks for the challenge, Esther!
Sussex Pond Pudding
For the suet pastry:
4 oz (110 g) self-raising flour, plus a little extra for dusting
2 oz (50 g) fresh white breadcrumbs
grated zest 1 lemon
3 oz (75 g) shredded suet
2 fl oz (55 ml) milk
a little butter for greasing
For the filling:
6 oz (175 g) butter
6 oz (175 g) demerara sugar
custard, to serve
First of all, sift the flour into a bowl, then sprinkle in the breadcrumbs, lemon zest and suet and just mix everything lightly with your hands to distribute it evenly. Next, mix 2 fl oz (55 ml) water and the milk together and sprinkle about 3 fl oz (75 ml) of this liquid into the flour. Begin mixing with a round-bladed knife, and then use your hands at the end to bring it all together to a smooth, elastic dough that leaves the bowl clean. If the mixture seems a little dry, add more of the liquid.
Next, transfer the dough to a flat, lightly floured surface, give it a light kneading and then divide it into 6 equal portions, slicing off a small piece from each for a lid. After that, roll out the large pieces into rounds big enough to line each basin. Now transfer the pastry to the basins and arrange it to form the lining, using your hands to press it round as evenly as possible. If you have some pastry above the rim, just squeeze it down to form a neat edge.
After that, cut the lemon into thin slices and divide the slices equally between the basins. Next, put 1 oz (25 g) butter and 1 oz (25 g) sugar into each basin. Finally, roll out the extra pieces of pastry into rounds and use these as lids, dampening the edges with a little water and pressing to seal them firmly all round.
Now cover each basin with a double sheet of kitchen foil, pleated in the centre and twisted at the edges, and place in a steamer fitted over a saucepan filled with boiling water. Pop the lid on and steam for 2 hours, keeping the water at a steady simmer, and making sure it is topped up if it needs it.
When the puddings are ready, turn them out into warmed bowls, sliding a small palette knife around the edges to loosen them. Serve with custard.