Monday, February 6, 2012

Snowdon Pudding - Pwdin Eryri.

Snowdon Pudding with Lemon Toffee Sauce set against a background of my own design fabric at Spoonflower
 Eliza Acton gave the ‘genuine’ recipe in 1845, asserting that it was ‘constantly served to travellers at the hotel at the foot of Snowdon -Yr Wyddfa ’ - the ‘Pen-y-groes.’ I looked but could not find any info about this hotel but there is a town called Pen-y-groes. This recipe is a version of my own taken from a recipe in the January issue of British Country Living.
British puddings are an odd category especially so as ALL desserts in the UK are called pudding as in "Whats for pudding?" but then a pudding could be for pudding and then that usually means a steamed pudding such as the one we are having here. Steamed puddings are also odd in that they were usually created at a time when ingredients were scarce and the best was made of what little there was available - as in the very hard times during the 2 world wars. Here's a link to more information and a whole array of traditional British puddings
This particular steamed pudding is mostly comprised of breadcrumbs which makes it springy and much more sponge like - it is not too sweet and it is quite hearty for a cold and blustery day - you wouldn't want to be eating this in high summer!!

SNOWDON PUDDING: enough for 4 good sized servings - this recipe can easily be doubled.
Ingredients:
3.5oz raisins
4oz butter chilled and grated on a grating box - most steamed pudding recipes use beef suet but most people don't want to use that anymore or it's not easily available so I substituted butter and it turned out fine if a tad bit greasy - suet is great for lightness and is less greasy than butter in a steamed pudding
1 tablespoon of flour
2oz sugar
4oz fresh breadcrumbs (in the magazine they used only white breadcrumbs - I had a lot of crust hanging around so I made my breadcrumbs from those thus my pudding is quite a lot darker than the one pictured in the magazine - but this is your choice - I don't think either way tastes better or worse)
3oz lemon marmalade (I didn't have any lemon marmalade so I used ginger marmalade and I think it went really well with the lemon sauce - as you can see I do tend to go with the flow in terms of ingredients unless something is an absolute must for the recipe - you could use regular orange  marmalade too)
zest of 1 lemon - preferably organic
3 large eggs whisked well together

The first order of the day is to get a nice big double boiler going so start that first and it can be heating as you make the pudding. 

1. Grease a 1 quart/2 pint pudding basin/bowl/mould very well and put about one third of the raisins in the bottom.
2. Mix butter, breadcrumbs, flour, sugar, marmalade and remaining raisins together in one bowl.
3. In another bowl whisk eggs with lemon zest.
4. Stir egg mixture into the other mixture and it will look like this - 
5. Spoon this over the raisins in the greased bowl.
6. Now we cut a round of greaseproof/ parchment baking paper to cover the bowl generously....cover the bowl, fold paper over down the sides and secure with an elastic band.
7. Now cut a circle of aluminium foil, fold over the top of the bowl, secure with another rubber band and then for ease of getting the pudding bowl in and out of the steamer basket without scalding yourself tie string around the bowl in the manner below.
Now pop your little pudding into the 'basket' of the boiler and put it back in the pan on the stove...put the lid on and get the kettle on for a cuppa while you wait for your pudding to be cooked. I steamed this one for 2 hours on our humming wood burning stove...just to add to the Maine mystique. 
 Remove the bowl from basket after the two hours and remove covers - leave uncovered in the bowl for 10 - 15 minutes - after that time put a plate on top of the bowl and with covered hands invert quickly and give a shake to help the pudding plop out of the bowl.
 And thus you end up with a little hat shaped pudding which is quite probably rounded on the bottom...you cut some of the rounded part off the bottom for presentation purposes so it sits level on the plate. Now for the sauce - no pudding is complete without a sauce.

LEMON TOFFEE SAUCE:
This is pretty much of my own concoction as I didn't like the one the magazine gave so I took the recipe from my Sticky Toffee Pudding - left out the cream and added fresh lemon juice - YUM!!!
2.5oz sugar
1.5oz butter (I always use salted - I like that flavour!)
5 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice - 2 small lemons worthish
1. Melt butter and sugar together.
2. Add lemon juice and allow to bubble until it thickens slightly - pour over your pudding and voila - get eating - I prefer my pudding slightly cooled and definitely like it the next day completely cool - both are ways are just fine!!

HAPPY STEAMING!!
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