Sunday, June 19, 2011

Old fashioned steamed pudding

I had a young man friend visiting a couple of weeks ago, so it was time to dig out the recipe for steamed pudding from the recesses of my brain.

This is something I used to make often when my son was living at home, the recipe is really basic, but you can change it around heaps by adding spices and/or fruit, cocoa, jam or syrup on the bottom etc.

You start by creaming butter and sugar together …

… I'm not very thorough at this, it should be done better.

Then you mix in egg …

… until it's well combined …

… add some vanilla essence (or whatever takes your fancy and will go with the other flavours) …

… then add flour, baking powder, and milk …

… and mix to a batter:

This is going to be a "Black Cap Pudding" so I'm putting stoned dates on the bottom of a greased pudding basin. Another sort of BlackCap pudding has dark jam (e.g. plum) there instead.

The batter goes on top …

… the top of the pudding bowl goes on …

… then it is lowered into a pot of boiling water, covered with the lid, and left to simmer for a couple of hours. The water in the pot needs to come about half way up the side of the bowl, and you have to be careful not to let it boil dry.

You can't really overcook it, so when you're ready to eat it you retrieve it from the pot, remove the lid …

… put a plate over the bowl …

… invert it, and remove the bowl:

This is traditionally eaten with custard powder custard, which bears very little relationship to custard, but is nice anyway.

You heat milk and a bit of sugar …

… and when it's nearly boiling, add in some custard powder that you've slaked with some cold milk:

Custard powder is basically vanilla flavoured, yellow coloured, cornflour (cornstarch). Very similar to what I believe Americans call "pudding".

You stir the custard vigorously so it doesn't go lumpy …

… then pour it over the steamed pudding:

So there you have what we call pudding with custard, but which Americans would no doubt call pudding with cake. Runny cream is a good addition, but I didn't have any.

Recipe (approximate)

Steamed pudding

(can be doubled or tripled)
100g butter
100g sugar
1 egg
125g flour
1tsp baking powder
milk to mix

you can also add  any of:
1 tsp essence
1 tsp any spice
handful of dried fruit
2 tbsp cocoa (use correspondingly less flour)
jam, fruit or syrup at the bottom of the bowl

Cream butter and sugar
Add egg and mix well
Add flour, baking powder, and enough milk to mix to a cake-like batter
Pour into a greased pudding bowl, cover with lid (or tinfoil tied with string if you don't have a lid), and place in pot of boiling water. Water needs to stay half way up the side of the bowl, so top up if necessary. Simmer for at least 1 1/2 hours.
Serves four adult females or two (maybe one) teenaged boys.


  1. Thanks for the stepbystep pics! Makes it look easy!

    Most unusual pudding pot.

  2. It's not unusual here. Or at least it might be these days! They were standard kitchen equipment when I was a child. I have another one that makes a ring-shaped pudding, I might see if I can find my aunt's old sago and fruit steamed pudding recipe and do a post using it.

  3. sago and fruit!!?

    waiting patiently over here in KL!

    ps: a picture of these pots in action would be great! Top and side elevations please!