Today’s recipe (actually made on Sunday night) is from a collection of Edwardian pudding recipes published by Copper Beech books who do several of this sort of thing. This volume was edited by one of their regulars, one Julie Lessels, about whom the internet refuses to give me any more information. Many of the puddings in this book are steamed, although there are a few tarts and some fritters.
Initially, I was going to make ‘half-pay pudding’, but you have been spared this flippant nod to the horror-story that is the current socio-economic situation, when I realised it would be more expensive to make than the first pudding in the book.
The recipes are clearly quoted straight from contemporary books as most contain little description and having only made one steamed pudding before, I sought advice from The Good Housekeeping Cookery Compendium (Waverly Press, 1955) on how best to assemble a one using a basin:
Assembling a pudding is very satisfying, like wrapping a present, except it doesn’t have to be pretty and at the end of it, you get a pudding.
Oddly, as no chocolate or vanilla were included in the recipe, this ended up smelling and tasting rather chocolatey. The outside had cooked until slightly crisp while the inside remained soft and gooey – very nice and of course, it has kept very well as it has held its shape outside, while not going hard inside. (My pudding basin is a 1 litre pyrex and was about 2/3 full from this recipe.)
Unfortunately, it cooked to the point of splitting and the yellow liquid you can see is fat. Bleurgh. (I drained most of it off by propping the pudding up on a slatted metal spatula and leaving the plate to rest at an angle.) Maybe cooking it for less time would prevent this from happening? But then it wouldn’t hold its shape as well? Although you’re probably supposed to serve it all up to your family of six and not eat it over the course of a week.
I have been enjoying this cold and warmed up, but I disagree with the suggestion to serve it with wine sauce. It’s rich and intense, but not overly sweet and I think it would go better with something simple - vanilla ice cream, single cream (both untested but recommended) or plain yoghurt (tested and recommended). A handful of raisins might also improve it.
Treacle’d by Elly