Traditional Spotted Dick pudding with real English Custard recipes. A delicious taste of old England.
There are several foods that are associated with traditional English fare and this has been a favourite for many decades. The name of this classic English pudding has amused children for just as long and why some overly coy parents prefer to call it “Spotted Dog Pudding” or even ridiculously Spotted Richard escapes me. “Spotted” just refers to the raisins and currants in the mix and the word “dick” is a colloquial word for pudding. This is no pudding for those on a diet. With ingredients of suet, flour and dried fruit it is very high in calories. This is why it is absolutely ideal for the end of a hard or a cold winter’s day.
I have based the recipe on a steamed one dating from the mid 1800′s. The quantities are sufficient for serving up to six but the left-overs will take being re-heated or even microwaved for the next day.
12 oz. plain white flour
4 tsp baking powder
4 oz. brown sugar (Demerara)
2 large free-range eggs (beaten)
8 oz. shredded suet. If using suet from the butchers, remove skin and shred finely. (you can use vegetarian but beef is best)
3 tbsp lemon juice.
8 - 10 oz. raisins (or currents or a blend of both)
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
10 - 12 fluid oz. full fat milk (1 cup) may be varied slightly to suit.
Zest of half a medium size unwaxed lemon.
Good pinch of Sea salt
Generously grease a 2 Pint pudding basin with organic butter.
Add ingredients to a large mixing bowl by sieving in the flour; baking powder, add the sea salt, cinnamon, sugar, shredded suet, lemon juice and the raisins. Mix everything together and then add the beaten eggs and cold milk until it comes together. Too wet then add in more plain flour. The final mix should be of a soft ‘dropping’ consistency.
Put the mix into the greased pudding basin, packing it down and level the pudding mix until about 1.5 inches below the top of the basin. Cut a round, large sheet of greaseproof paper and a similar one of foil slightly bigger so that they will overlap the sides of the basin by at least 4 inches.
Make a lid using the greaseproof paper, foil and string.
Using a deep saucepan with a tight fitting lid, stand the pudding basin on an upturned heatproof plate to raise it off the bottom. Pour in boiling water to just less than half way up the side of the pudding basin.
Bring the water to a medium simmer and cover with a tight fitting lid allowing to steam for 2 and a 1/2 hours, topping up with boiling water from time to time. Check the water level every so often so that it doesn’t boil dry.
Check it is fully cooked by inserting a metal skewer which should come out clean.
Unwrap, cut into thick portions and serve with lots of custard (see below)
Real English Custard
1 vanilla pod (for best results, or you can use a good quality vanilla essence)
10 fl oz. double cream (this is the traditional version – you can use single or even full cream milk)
4 large free-range egg yolks
1 teaspoon corn flour
1½ oz. golden caster sugar
Split the vanilla pod lengthways and reserve the seeds. Place both the pod and seeds into a small saucepan, together with the cream. Gently heat the pan to just below simmering point.
Whisk the egg yolks, corn flour and sugar together in a medium bowl using a balloon whisk. Remove the vanilla pod and discard but retain the seeds. Whisking the egg mixture all the time with one hand, gradually pour the hot cream into the bowl.
When thoroughly mixed, pour back into the saucepan and under a gentle heat continue whisking until the custard thickens and has a smooth texture. If it becomes lumpy, don't worry, just transfer back to the bowl and continue to whisk until it becomes smooth again.
Pour the final custard into a glass or china jug, cover the surface with cling film (to prevent it forming a skin) and leave to cool. To serve it warm later, remove the cling film and sit the jug in a pan of barely simmering water. Actually as children there was always a fight to get the custard skin or alternatively to drink the custard hot in a glass.
Traditional Christmas pudding
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Nelson squares - wartime cake made from scraps
- Nelson Squares - A recipe for a delicious wartime cake made from scraps.
Following the war cakes were very much a luxury and various methods of producing something from nothing were tried. Some were delicious and this recipe for Nelson Squares is one
- British sweet rationing 1940-1953 - Homemade sweets
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Manchester Tart or pudding
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This was a tart which was a great favorite in the Manchester area. It started life back in the 1800s when it was called a pudding but because pastry was used became known as a tart.
© 2012 Peter Geekie