15 Jan 2016

Lemon Steamed Pudding

Happy New Year!
I have never been one for making New Year's resolutions, but if I was, it would be to try and find more time to bake and keep working my way through the history of British baking and food. 
The more I discover about British food, the more I realise how rich it is and how much it deserves being explored deeper. If Great Britain lacks anything, it's pride in its food heritage. 
With the British government’s recent launch of the five-year Great British Food campaign to increase the number of EU Protected Food Names from a mere 64 today to around 200 (which is what you find in countries like France or Italy), and many artisan producers working towards gaining recognition for their traditional foods, I hope the general public in the UK and abroad will get more and more opportunities to discover how great British food is.



Lemon Steamed Pudding

When I think British baking, I think steamed pudding. We don't have anything similar in France, and on top of being quintessentially British, this steamed pudding is delicious!
It look me a long time to dare make my very first steamed pudding, because I feared it would be difficult to make. It actually is very easy to make.  
This pudding will keep in an airtight container for a few days. I almost think it gets even better after a day or two!

Ingredients
For the pudding: 
1 lemon
1 vanilla pod
140 unsalted butter
60 caster sugar
65 golden caster sugar
3 eggs slightly beaten
200g plain flour, sifted
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
125ml milk

For the syrup: 
Zest of 2 lemons, juice of one
150ml water
150g caster sugar, 50g golden caster sugar

A couple our lemon slices, to line to pudding mould 
Double cream or plain greek yogurt, to serve

Method:
  1. Heat the oven to 160
  2. Butter a medium size (1 litre) pudding basin
  3. Grate the zest of the lemon et the seeds from the vanilla pod et set aside
  4. Cream together the sugar, butter, vanilla seeds and zest until light and fluffly (I do that with an electric whisk). Add the eggs gradually.
  5. Add the sifted flour and baking powder and fold them in until combined. Fold in the milk until combined. Set aside.
  6. To make the syrup: in a small pan, put the sugar, lemon juice and zest, water and vanilla pod. Heat gently, sitrring until the sugar has dissolved, then bring to the boil and simmer until the mixture has reduced to a syrup. Remove the vanilla pod, clean it under fresh water and leave it to dry (once dry, you can then put in and leave it in a jar of sugar to make vanilla sugar)
  7. Place the lemon slices and place them at the bottom of the pudding basin (that's optional and just for decoration). Pour 3/4 of the syrup into the basin and cover with the pudding mixture. Set the rest of the syrup aside.
  8. Cover the pudding basin tightly with two layers of baking parchment or foil and tie a string arong the edge of the basin to secure the cover tightly. Place the basin in a deep roasting tin or oven-proof pan. Fill the tin/pan with hot water to halfway up the height of the basin, and bake for about 2 hours (remember to keep the water topped up). 
  9. To check if it's ready, uncover the pudding and if well risen and slightly firm to the touch; it's ready. 
  10. Leave to cool for about 5min, run a sharp knife around the edges of the pudding and turn out onto a shallow plate and pour the remaining syrup on top. Serve slightly warm with yogurt or cream.
Recipe adapted from Leon's St Clement's pudding. 


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