Sussex pond puddings

Sussex pond puddings

By
From
Citrus
Serves
8
Photographer
Mowie Kay

This pudding is the exception to my rule that kumquats are only worth bothering with if candied, as they infuse beautifully with the sugar and butter in this recipe, which gives a similar effect. Suet puddings are celebrated by the British and viewed with suspicion by everyone else – I love them and have found them infinitely adaptable (see variation, below). Incidentally, this quantity of suet pastry can be put to good use in other citrusy ways. Try rolling it out into a large rectangle and filling with marmalade for a roly poly.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
25g butter, plus extra for greasing
200g self-raising flour, plus extra for dusting
A pinch salt
75g suet
150ml milk

For the filling

Quantity Ingredient
150g butter
150g demerara sugar
3 pieces stem ginger, finely chopped
8 kumquats or limequats

Method

  1. Generously butter 8 individual-sized pudding basins and set aside. Put the flour and salt into a bowl, then rub in the suet and butter. Gradually add the milk, cutting it in with a knife until you have a fairly soft, but roll-able dough. Knead lightly to make sure it is well combined (it will not be very smooth because of the suet) and not sticky, then turn out onto a floured surface. Divide the mixture into 8 – the easiest way to do this is by weighing it and dividing accordingly. Roll each piece of dough into a round, then cut a quarter out of it. Use each larger piece of the circle to line the pudding basins.
  2. Cut up the butter for the filling into small squares and divide half of it between the 8 basins. Follow with half the demerara sugar and stem ginger. Stand the kumquats or limequats upright in the centre of the butter and sugar. Cover with the rest of the butter, sugar and ginger. Form the remaining pieces dough into rounds and use to cover the puddings, making sure you seal the edges together.
  3. Cover each of the puddings with pleated foil and tie firmly around the rim – if you have a supply of rubber bands, these are the easiest thing to use. Steam for around 2 hours until golden brown. When you are ready to serve, turn out and serve with pouring cream or crème anglaise.

Variation

  • If you would like to make the classic Sussex pond pudding, use the same amount of suet pastry to line a 2-litre basin. Use all the butter and sugar in the same way, omitting the stem ginger, and use 1 whole lemon, orange or perhaps a couple of limes, making sure you pierce them thoroughly all over with a skewer. Steam for 3½–4 hours.
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