Sussex pond pudding
A recipe from the Good Food collection.
Sussex pond pudding
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1. Grease a 1.5 litre (6 cup) pudding basin and place in a saucepan on a trivet. Pour in enough water to come halfway up the side of the basin. Remove the basin and put the water on to boil. Place a sheet of foil on a work surface and put a sheet of baking paper on top. Grease the paper. Make a large pleat in the centre of the foil and paper (page 624).
2. Sift the flour into a large bowl, wrap one end of the frozen suet or butter in foil and grate into the flour. Mix into the flour, then mix in the milk and 150 ml (5 fl oz) water, using a flat-bladed knife. Bring together with your hands.
3. Keep one-quarter of the pastry aside for the lid and roll the rest into a 25 cm (10 inch) circle, leaving the middle thicker than the edges. Lift this into the basin and press upwards against the side until it fits, leaving a little bit above the rim.
4. Put half the butter and sugar in the basin, prick the lemon all over with a skewer and add to the basin with the rest of the butter and sugar. Fold the edge of the pastry into the basin and brush with water. Roll out the remaining pastry to form a lid and press firmly onto the rim of the pastry. Place the foil and paper over the basin, foil side up. Tie a double piece of string around the rim, knot tightly and, using another double piece of string, tie a handle onto the string to make it easier to remove when the pudding is ready. Lower the basin into the water. Cover the pan with a lid and steam for 3–4 hours, topping up the water as necessary.
5. Invert the pudding onto a plate with a rim. When cut, the juices will flow out to form the 'pond'
Suet is the firm white fat that surrounds the kidneys of beef and mutton. It has excellent cooking properties: it is stiff and melts slowly, and is used in many traditional British dishes to make pastry, suet puddings and mincemeat. It is the preferred fat for pastries as it gives them a good ‘short’ texture. Suet can be bought commercially in packages, usually granulated and coated with flour. Most butchers will supply fresh suet, which can be grated either by hand or in a food processor. You may need to order suet from your butcher ahead of time. Store it in the freezer to make it easier to grate.