Daring Bakers - Age of steam!
In my opinion British Cuisine is sometimes underrated. I love the simple approach to food, both savoury and sweet. Perhaps because I tend to think of some British traditional puddings when I'm craving something sweet as comfort food: a warm crumble, a splash of custard or a spoonful of sponge pudding. And Britons know their way around puddings, that's for sure! The April 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Esther of The Lilac Kitchen. She challenged everyone to make a traditional British pudding using, if possible, a very traditional British ingredient: suet. I've decided for a butter based version of steamed pudding with a fruit base.
Apple Cinnamon Steamed Pudding
Adapted from BBC Good Food
350g apples, sliced
200g caster sugar
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
125g unsalted butter
few drops natural vanilla extract
2 medium eggs, beaten
175g self-raising flour
Cook the sliced apples with 75g of the sugar and the spices over a gentle heat for 2-3 minutes until just starting to soften. Remove from heat.
Grease a 900ml pudding basin. Put butter and remaining sugar in a bowl and cream together. Stir in vanilla extract, then beat in eggs, a little at a time. Sift in flour and carefully fold into the mixture.
Spoon fruit into the bottom of the basin, then spoon the sponge mixture on top and level off surface.
Butter a piece of greaseproof paper slightly bigger than the top of the pudding basin. Make a pleat in the centre and secure over the top of basin. Repeat with a piece of foil, then secure the whole thing with string. Place in a pan half filled with simmering water. Cover and cook for 1½ hrs, checking regularly that the pan does not boil dry. Remove cover, invert the pudding onto a plate, then carefully lift off the pudding basin. Serve with crème fraîche or single cream.
My thoughts on the challenge:
- Suet is not my thing so I've decided to go with butter instead;
- This recipe is a charm to make, and very versatile if you use a different fruit/spice combination like I did;
- The cooking technique is quite easy if you follow instructions. Also called Bain Marie, it requires only a pot of simmering water and a bit of attention;
- I've served mine with plain greek yoghurt.
Have a look at all the wonderful puddings at Daring Kitchen!