Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Pond Pudding

I saw the pond pudding made by Sophie Grigson on Raymond Blanc's program a few weeks ago and since then I've been wanting to make my own. I'm not used to making desserts so rarely do but this one intrigued me because of its simplicity and cleverness. It is essentially the same as a steak and kidney pudding but instead of meat and offal it has a load of brown sugar, butter and some lemons inside it. The idea is that while it slowly steams for several hours the butter and sugar turn into a caramel which candies the lemon and the flavour and fragrance of the lemon infuse and flavour the pudding.

To make the pudding you need to have a decent sized pudding bowl and a pot big enough to fit the bowl in with the lid on. You also need to have some suet, self raising flour, milk, a load of butter, a load of light brown sugar and one large or two small unwaxed lemons. Some foil and string are also needed to tie the thing together.

I started by making some simple suet pastry by mixing 120g suet, 250g self raising flour and some milk. I used vegetarian suet as a vegetarian would eat some but the proper chefs say you should use beef suet. Once ready the pastry lined the pudding bowl which I had already greased with butter. I also made a disc of pastry for the lid which goes on later.

To make the filling I loosly mixed 200g of light brown sugar with 250g of butter. To give you an understanding of how good the pudding is for you 250g of butter is one whole packet of butter from the supermarket. The butter and sugar went into the pudding bowl. Two small lemons were pricked all over and then put on top of the butter and sugar.

The pastry lid then went on top.

The most difficult part for me was tying the foil onto the bowl. You have to put a lid of foil on top and tie it securley so no water gets into the pudding while cooking. I didn't have any string so had to go out to the local hardware shop to get some after failing to get a tight enough seal with ribbon or picture wire. I am rubbish at tying knots so got someone else to do the tying for me. I also got them to make a handle for me which is important so you can lift the pudding out of the water later without burning yourself.

When the pudding was all sealed and tied up it was lowered into a large pan of boiling water which was filled to half way. A lid was put onto the pan. The pudding was then cooked for four hours. You need to check occasionally that the water level stays the same and top up if nessesary. It should be kept at a gentle boil for the duration of cooking.

After the four hours was up I lifted to pudding out of the water, removed the string and foil and turned the pudding out onto a plate. As you can see from the photos the reason it's called Pond Pudding is because of the pond of juices that seep out of the bottom of the pudding.

The pudding was cut up and served with a little bit of double cream which is needed to dampen the sweetness. I made sure everyone got a bit of lemon which had candied on the outside and was surprisingly eatable.

The pudding was proper stodgy. I believe it was puddings made from suet pastry that the term stodge was invented for. The flavour the lemon gives to this dish cuts through a lot of the sweet stodgyness to make the consumption of such a rich sickly sweet dessert extremely enjoyable. It's not as sharp and citrusy as I imagined it would be as a lot of the flavour comes from the rind of the lemon rather that the flesh so the sauce is bit like a lemon marmalade.

No comments:

Post a Comment