Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Daring Bakers: Traditional British Pudding

When I first read what this month's challenge was going to be, I thought hmmmmm...well, ok, this is a new one and something I've never made before and in some varieties, I've actually eaten. But hey, I have a soft spot in my heart for certain British folks and hey, give me that cool British accent on the right guy and it's over! You know the saying, "the way to a man's heart, is through his stomach" and if this type of guy or this type of guy could be the end result, then I say bring it on!

First let me introduce our hostess this month:

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.

After reading that description, you may be wondering, what is suet and how do you even pronounce it?

suet [SOO-iht] "Found in beef, sheep and other animals, suet is the solid white fat found around the kidneys and loins. Many British recipes call for it to lend richness to pastries, puddings, stuffings and mincemeats. Suet was once widely used to make tallow candles". ~ Food Lover's Companion, pg. 602

*For more information regarding suet and some examples, be sure to check here at the Daring Kitchen.

The decision between a savory dish or a dessert, was quickly made, as all things in my life at the moment revolve around desserts and so began the hunt for a new recipe. In this challenge we were told that we needed to make a traditional British pudding using one of the techniques and then we could use any type of recipe to incorporate our creative ideas. As interesting as the suet ingredient sounded, I went with the ingredients I had on hand, which of course was anything dessert related.

Our hostess Esther of The Lilac Kitchen explained what is meant by "pudding":

"Some of you will know about the British and the word pudding but for those that don't we use the word for many things:
1) Black pudding and white pudding a sort of meat and grain sausage. Black pudding uses blood as well as meat.
2) Pudding — a generic word for desert
3) Pudding — any dish cooked in a pudding bowl or pudding cloth normally steamed, boiled but sometimes baked.
4) An endearment i.e., "How are you today my pudding?"

For this challenge we are using the third meaning a dish cooked in a pudding bowl or cloth, though many of you may opt to do a sweet version in which case version two also applies!"

Now that you have all the necessary British terms defined, let me explain and show you how easy this dessert really is to make.

I found a recipe from a cookbook I had in my collection and decided to give it go and I also found a pudding container with a lid that my mom has had for years and apparently has made a pumpkin steamed pudding for Thanksgiving many years ago. And it must have been years and YEARS ago, because this was news to me and apparently I've had steamed pudding before. But this will be the first time that I can recall in my adult life.

I found a few choices, but decided to go with the container that had a lid, which seemed like a secure choice. But now that I know how to make a steamed pudding, I'll have cool design choices to pick from later.

*My notes are in this color.

From Classic Stars Desserts: Favorite Recipes by Emily Luchetti, pgs. 54-55

1 1/2 cups blueberries
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
pinch + 1/4 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. ginger
1/2 cup dark molasses
1/2 cup milk
1 egg
1 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
1 tsp. lemon zest


1) Butter the underside of the top and the inside of a 2-quart steamed-pudding mold.
2) Put the blueberries in a bowl; add the sugar, lemon juice, and a pinch of salt and toss to mix. *I used frozen blueberries and they worked great. You could probably use fresh or frozen blueberries.

3) Place blueberry mixture in the bottom of the prepared pudding mold.

4) Sift the flour, baking soda, baking powder, ginger and salt and set aside.

5) In a large bowl, whisk together the molasses, milk, egg, melted butter, and lemon zest. Add the dry ingredients to the molasses mixture and whisk until smooth. Pour the batter into the mold over the blueberries and cover the mold with a lid.

6) Place the pudding mold in a pot large enough to accommodate the mold with at least 1 1/2 inches of clearance on the top and sides. Fill the pot with hot water to reach one-third of the way up the sides of the mold. *I used a stock pot which gave the pudding mold enough room and it held the steam/heat very nicely.

7) Cover the pot and bring the water to a low boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to maintain a simmer. Steam the pudding for about 1 hour, checking the water periodically to make sure that it is just simmering. (Rapidly boiling water will cause the pudding to rise prematurely and then sink). The pudding is ready when a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. *I took it out of the stock pot after about 55 minutes and the skewer came out clean.

8) Let the pudding cool for 10 minutes. To unmold, invert a platter on top of the mold and then invert the plate and mold together. Lift off the mold. Let cool to room temperature and then slice pudding and serve.

*The recipe suggested to serve the pudding with a Chantilly cream, but I decided to add more of a lemon flavor by making a light lemon sauce. The lemon sauce recipe was written on a recipe card from our long time family friend Jan way back in 1976--which was on the back of the pumpkin pudding recipe that my Mom used to make at Thanksgiving (the dessert that I can't seem to remember, but apparently I ate it and loved it).


1/2 cup sugar
1 Tbsp. cornstarch
1 cup boiling water
3 Tbsp. butter
1 tsp. lemon zest
3 Tbsp. lemon juice


1) Combine sugar, cornstarch and boiling water in saucepan. Cook over medium heat; stirring till thickened and clear.

2) Remove from heat. Stir in butter, lemon zest and lemon juice. *I added 2 extra Tbsp. of lemon juice, because I like it a bit more tart.

3) Serve not over steamed pudding.

My overall opinion of this traditional British dessert is that it was surprisingly easy and tasted better than I thought it would. The molasses was a bit strong, but by adding the lemon sauce it helped to tone it down.

I think next time, I would like to make a chocolate & caramel sticky pudding, because I don't think you can go wrong with that flavor combination. But I'm glad I tried something new and I can add this steaming technique to my list of culinary skills, which is always a good thing.

And who knows, maybe someday soon, I'll meet some fantastic British guy and I'll be prepared to make him a dish that will remind him of home.


  1. Your pudding is gorgeous--blueberries and cake are a perfect combination! Love your pudding molds and your links to the perfect men and their houses:)

  2. Jill,
    Your pudding looks gorgeous and delicious! I'll have to add a sauce next time! YUM!

  3. Jillicious! Great job, and so tasty it must be! I copied the out of print book by Emily but somehow never used it, I must check it again.

    I agree with you on the sticky pudding, but I will wait until the fall, it is something you want to eat when it is cold outside.

    Well done!

  4. oooooh the pudding looks gorgeous with beautiful blueberries. I loved the recipe as well. Wish to try this one day. By the way thanks very much for your encouraging comment in my space.

  5. Blueberries and lemon, now that's a fabulous combination. Beautiful pudding.

  6. I loved learning about pudding! I've never tried anything like this. It's so gorgeous with the blueberries on top! Great work!

  7. Thanks for stopping by! This challenge was delightful and I was pleasantly surprised with the results. Keeper! Lucky you and that pudding mold, BTW...=)

  8. Ooooh I love the thought of blueberry pudding. I'm getting so many ideas for pudding that I'm glad we are approaching winter over here. Unfortuately winter is not approaching us - still around 30C, rainy and humid. This food really is designed to be rib sticking for freezing weather.

  9. Fabulous job! The blueberries look delicious. I didn't participate this month and now I wish I'd gotten it together after seeing your success.

  10. This is special..... I like it from the first time I saw it, it must taste like heaven :-)

    It is nice catching up with you again, how is business lately?

    Sawadee from Bangkok,

  11. That is one amazing looking pudding it actually gleans yumminess and that topping is to die for well done fabulous result. Cheers from Audax in Sydney Australia.

  12. Your pudding is absolutely beautiful. I could sit and stare at that picture for... way longer than I should! :) Love the selection of pudding tins you had, too - what fun! Awesome job on the challenge.

  13. I would take your steamed blueberry pudding over a towering cream-filled torte garnished with blueberries any day! Two Malaysian thumbs-up for you! And thanks for stopping by at my space.

  14. I love blueberries, so this is a recipe that's on my soon-to-make list now. I'm jealous at your pudding form - it looks so cool!

  15. Loved Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy in Pride and Prejudice, best movie ever! Anyway . . . your pudding looks great! I love how the blueberries almost look like a jelly on top. Nice job on the challenge!

  16. Wow, Jill great Gorgeous pudding dear!!, I wanted to know what you have posted, the pudding bowl is so nice!!, lovely step-by-step explanation!!

  17. LOve the fruit in your pudding. Wish we got blueberries here.
    Never seen a pudding mould like yours before (Of course, I haven't seen many pudding moulds). :)

  18. delicious looking pudding!! Love the steaming pot too!!

  19. Ooooh a blueberry steamed pudding this sounds so good :) i bet the flavours were gorgeous.

  20. The pudding looks beautiful Jill. I bet the blueberry lemon combo was delicious!

  21. Oh my goodness! That really looks fantastic with the blueberries.

    Way to get creative. Love those old steamer pots... how fun that you learned something "new" about your mom.

  22. omg your pudding looks sooo moist. The lemon sauce would go superb with the blueberry pudding.

  23. Your pudding looks gorgeous! I really like that version. What great pans!



  24. Great job! Lemon and Blueberry are such a great flavor combination!!

  25. This is really stunning! And I adore the flavours you chose!
    (And yes, who wouldn't want to make a pudding for Mr. Darcy?)

  26. Pudding looks fantastic and no doubt it tastes the same! I'm so envious of all your moulds and tins :)

  27. Jill, your pudding looks as if it should be on every table for a recpetion for the Queen. Blueberry perfection..such a great idea! If I wasn't sick, I'd comment more since I'd be able to read your post in full. Blurry headache eyes lol

    However, I did manage to read up to your comment about british men and the accents. I'm a sucker for them too ;D

  28. You definitely can't go wrong with chocolate and caramel, but I love that blueberry pudding you made, especially with the abundance of blueberries on top.