WW1: A Plain Plum Pudding
My Canadian mother rarely makes puddings. If she does, they most definitely do not involve suet. So Granny Dot has introduced this to me via savoury and sweet puddings; I love them. This is a winner, as is the savoury Bacon pudding. The most exciting thing about this is walking into the kitchen for about two hours following its being made to this amazing aroma of warm biscuits and sultanas.
‘This is a variation of the suet pudding, the proportions being 1/2 lb. of flour, a teaspoonful of baking powder, 6 ozs. of suet, 1/2 lb. sultanas (washed, and dried), 2 eggs, half a teacupful of golden syrup, and enough milk to mix. Steam four hours in a greased basin. This pudding is a deep golden brown, light and crumbly when made well.’
Instructions for suet pudding:
‘There are certain puddings which the woman who is obliged to cater economically must often order, and which may be very good and often are extremely nasty.
Suet Pudding is one of these. One meets it looking rather grey and greasy in the shape of a badly stuffed bolster, or sometimes it is made in a pudding basin. But the shape has little effect on its unpleasant consistency.
Now a suet pudding when well made is quite light and crumbly, and can appear plain to be eaten with brown sugar or treacle, or it may be enriched with sultanas, figs, marmalade, or jam. It is a very nourishing and wholesome pudding for children always supposing that it is properly made.
No matter what kind of suet pudding you make, be certain that the suet is untainted and free from every vestige of skin and fibre and shred it very finely. If you use Hugo’s Atora suet use less than of ordinary suet. This suet may be bought shred fine and ready for use.’
(Learning to Cook, 1915, Mrs C. S. Peel)
8 oz./225g flour
1tsp baking powder
1 pinch salt
6 oz. suet
Zest of 1 unwaxed lemon (optional)
1 tsp mixed spice (optional)
1/2 teacup/3tbsp golden syrup
8 oz./225g sultanas or other dried fruit
1. Put the first three dry ingredients in a bowl with the suet and mix.
2. Add the beaten eggs and the syrup and mix in.
3. Add the sultanas and enough of the milk to mix the ingredients.
4. If you like, add the zest of one lemon and the mixed spice.
5. Butter a pudding basin and fill with the mixture.
6. Take a layer of baking paper and a layer of foil (foil on top) on a flat work surface and fold a pleat into the centre to give room for the pudding to rise a little.
7. Place this on top of the basin and tie string around the edge tightly to secure it, folding a length of string across the centre and securing it on the opposite side to form a handle for lifting. Cut around the edges of the foil and paper to form a circle and tuck the foil under the edges of the baking paper to neaten it up.
8. Now place the pudding in a steamer or in a pan of simmering water for 3 1/2 hours.
9. Turn out and serve with cream, custard or ice cream.