Sussex pond puddings
- 25g butter, plus extra for greasing
- 200g self-raising flour, plus extra for dusting
- 75g suet
- 150ml whole milk
For the filling
- 150g butter
- 150g demerara sugar
- 3 pieces stem ginger, finely chopped
- 8 kumquats
- pouring cream or crème Anglaise
- 8 individual pudding basins
Generously grease the pudding basins and set aside. Put the flour and a pinch of salt in a bowl, then rub in the suet and butter. Gradually add the milk, cutting it in with a knife until you have a fairly soft but rollable dough.
Knead lightly to make sure it is well combined (it won’t be very smooth) and not sticky, then turn it out on to a floured surface. Divide the mixture into 8 pieces then cut a quarter out of each one. Roll the larger pieces of dough into circles and use to line the pudding basins.
Cut the butter for the filling into small cubes and divide half of it between the 8 basins. Follow with half the demerara sugar and stem ginger. Place the kumquats on top and cover with the remaining butter, sugar and stem ginger pieces.
Form the remaining pieces of dough into rounds and use to cover the puddings, making sure the edges are sealed.
Cover each of the puddings with pleated foil and tie firmly around the rim – if you have rubber bands these are the easiest thing to use.
Bring a large pan of water to the boil and lower the pudding basins into it. The water should come halfway up the sides of the basins. Steam for around 2 hours until golden brown. If the water level falls too low, replenish it with more boiling water.
When ready to serve, turn out and serve with the pouring cream or crème Anglaise.
Variation: To make the classic Sussex pond pudding, use the same amount of suet pastry to line a 2-litre basin. Use the butter and sugar in the same way, omitting the stem ginger, and use 1 whole lemon, orange or a couple of limes, making sure you pierce them all over with a skewer. Steam for 31⁄2–4 hours.