Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Daring Bakers' Challenge: Traditional British Pudding

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.

My first thoughts when I saw this months challenge: 'A Traditional British Pudding? What the heck is suet? Not to mention the directions seem a bit complicated! And she left the filling up to personal preference? Eeek! I don't know anything about Traditional British Puddings!? '

My thoughts after I took it all in and started reading into the discussion more: 'Ok, this is pretty neat..seems like there are a lot of options.. I don't know if I'll be able to find suet in Texas, but I can always count on Crisco (which can be substituted for lack of suet) and I bet I can pick Fiona's brain for a good pudding filling (my friend Fiona is English)."

Some interesting things you should know about Traditional British Pudding...
  • This is not the type of j-e-l-l-o pudding you're probably thinking of- "pudding" to a Brit merely means a dessert or any dish baked or steamed in a pudding bowl. 
  • As mentioned in the blog line, a traditional pudding is made with suet aka the flaky fat found around the kidneys in a cow or pig. This fat is apparently used a lot by the Brits, but Americans, not so much. From what I gather it is basically like lard and Crisco can be used in its replacement. 
  • Puddings are traditionally steamed for at least 2-3 hours, but sometimes up to 5.
  • There are two types of puddings: sponge pudding and crust pudding (my choice)
We were given a few options of where we could find the recipes, as long as we made a suet pudding using suet or a close replacement and made it by means of steaming.

As you know, I'm always up for a good challenge and all in all this was another great experience! To be honest though, I wish I would have been a little more adventurous, but unfortunately ran out of time. The finished product tasted much like an apple pie, just with a flakier, softer crust and super soft apples. Definitely tasty though! 

Brown Sugar Apple Pudding
adapted from The Pudding Club Wikipudia (hilarious)

250 gram Self Rising Flour (I made my own with All Purpose flour, baking powder and salt)
175 grams Crisco or Suet
1 TBS sugar
Less than one cup of water to mix

4 cooking apples, peeled and cut into slices
1 TBS lemon juice
120g brown sugar
2 TBS cinnamon

1. Crust: Mix flour, sugar and crisco. Slowly add water until dough becomes fairly stiff. 
2. Line well greased bowl, leaving room for a lid. 
3. In a small bowl mix chopped apples, lemon juice, brown sugar and cinnamon. 
4. Fill dough lined bowl with filling.
5. Roll out left over dough and place on top, pinching sides.
6. Seal bowl and cover with foil or parchment paper- securing with a string. 
7. Place in steamer for at least 2 1/2 hours.
*Make sure you keep refilling your water in the steamer or you'll get an ugly noise coming from your stove and a very unhappy pot.

Going back to the stove top every 30 minutes to refill the water in the steamer for 3 hours was well worth it in the end :) Of course I invited Fiona to come over for the taste test, because what better way to determine the success of a Traditional British Pudding than with a Brit?? 

Consensus?? We both had seconds.

April 2010 Daring Baker Challenge: Traditional British Pudding
Again, I apologize for these horrible pics..lighting was no good...

Looks can be deceiving.. still pretty tasty :)

What Challenge will they come up with next?!