Monday, 19 December 2011

How To - Prep Steamed Puddings

Steamed Puddings are something I have completely fallen in love with over the past year.  My experience so far has only been with a Christmas Pudding using fruit mince, but I feel I may branch out come winter and try some other delicious steamed puddings.  Whatever their purpose, these detailed instructions will ensure your pudding basin is well prepared every time.

What you'll need:
  • Ceramic pudding basin, tea cups, mugs or ramekins
  • Pudding mixture
  • Softened butter
  • Pastry brush
  • Baking paper
  • Foil
  • Twine
  • Large saucepan with well fitting lid (baking tray for smaller puddings)
  • Saucer (tea towel for smaller puddings)
  • Water

Step 1
Step 1 - Brush your basin well with butter, ensuring you brush right to the top.  Cut two circles of baking paper the same size as the base of the basin and lay them one on top of the other, brushing well with butter after each.  Fill basin 3/4 of the way with pudding mixture

Step 2
Step 2

Step 2 - Tear off a sheet each of baking paper and foil that are even length, lie one on top of the other and make a 1-2 cm pleat through the middle.  Place over the basin, foil side up, and fold around sides.

Step 3
Step 3

Step 3 - Take the twine and cut a length that will more than wrap twice around your basin when folded in half (the twine, not the basin).  Wrap around top of basin, under lip if the basin has one, pull firmly, tie off and wrap back around to starting point.  Knot well.

Step 4
Step 4

Step 4 - To make the handle, take the length of twine trailing the knot and throw it loosely across the centre of the basin.  Tie off firmly on twine wrapped around basin.  Trim excess foil and baking paper.

Step 5 - For large puddings, place saucer in the bottom of the pot and place the basin on top.  Fill pot with water until it has risen to 3/4 up the sides of the basin, or just below the paper and foil.  Place over medium heat and rapidly simmer for about 3-6 hours (depending on size of pudding).  Top up water as necessary. 
For smaller puddings, place tea towel in the bottom of the baking tray and distribute tea cups or ramekins on top, about six per tray.  Pour water into tray until it has risen to about halfway up the tea cups or ramekins.  Bake at 180°C for 1-2 hours. 

To check if puddings are ready, remove dressing and insert a skewer into the middle.  If it comes out clean, puddings are ready.  If not, re-dress basin from step 2 and place back into pot to continue cooking.

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