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Baked Puddings

There are dozens of variations on the basic steamed pudding, and by adding ingredients to the mixture, or using different preserves for the topping, you can ring the changes almost indefinitely. But whichever version you go for, remember that no pudding is complete without a jug of creamy custard.

ingredients

serves 4
175 g (6 oz) self-raising flour
pinch of salt
75 g (3 oz) shredded beef suet or softened butter
50 g (2 oz) caster sugar
1 egg
about 90 ml (6 tbsp) fresh milk

method

1. Grease a 1.1 litre (2 pint) pudding basin if making a steamed pudding, or a deep pie dish if baking the pudding. Spoon the flavouring of your choice into the bottom (see below).

2. Mix together the flour, salt, suet or softened butter and sugar. Make a well in the centre and add the egg and enough milk to give a soft dropping consistency. Pour into the prepared dish.

3. If steaming the pudding, cover with pleated greaseproof paper or foil and secure with string. Steam for l 1/2 - 2 hours.

4. If baking, cook, uncovered, at 180°C (350°F) mark 4 for about 1 hour, until well risen. Serve hot with custard.

VARIATIONS
CHOCOLATE PUDDING
Add 45 ml (3 tbsp) cocoa, sifted with the flour, or stir 25 g (1 oz) chocolate dots or chips into the basic mixture.

COCONUT PUDDING
Replace 25 g (l oz) of the flour with 25 g (1 oz) desiccated coconut.

BLACK CAP PUDDING
Spoon 45 ml (3 tbsp) blackcurrant jam into the bottom of the basin.

MARMALADE PUDDING
Spoon 45 ml (3 tbsp) marmalade into the bottom of the basin.

TREACLE OR SYRUP PUDDING
Spoon 30 ml (2 tbsp) treacle or golden syrup into the bottom of the basin.

LEMON OR ORANGE PUDDING
Add the finely grated rind of 1 lemon or orange to the basic mixture.

CASTLE PUDDING
Divide lemon pudding mixture between 8 dariole moulds, then cover and steam for 30-40 minutes.

FRUIT PUDDING
Add 75 g (3 oz) no-soak mixed dried fruit to the basic mixture.

CANTERBURY PUDDING
Replace half of the flour with fresh breadcrumbs. Add the finely grated rind and juice of 1 lemon and replace half the milk with brandy.

GinGER PUDDING
Add 5 ml (1 tsp) ground ginger and 25 g (1 oz) chopped stem ginger to the basic mixture. Spoon 30 ml (2 tbsp) golden syrup into the bottom of the basin, if liked.

CANARY PUDDING
Replace half of the flour with fresh breadcrumbs. Add the finely grated rind of 1 lemon and 30 ml (2 tbsp) Madeira or sweet sherry instead of some of the milk.

COLLEGE PUDDING
Replace the flour with 100 g (4 oz) fresh breadcrumbs. Add 100 g (4 oz) mixed sultanas and raisins, 2.5 ml (1/2 tsp) baking powder and a large pinch each of ground cinnamon, ground cloves and grated nutmeg. Spoon into 6 greased dariole moulds, cover with foil and bake at 180°C (350°F) mark 4 for 45 minutes.

Eve's pudding
Put 450 g (1 lb) peeled, cored and thickly sliced eating apples in the bottom of a deep pie dish. Make the mixture using butter and bake as above.

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