Traditionally a steamed suet pudding with raisins or currants in it, spotted dick is so called – at least in part – because of the dried fruit. My version is a simple, but scrumptious butter version. It’s quite hard to tip the pudding out from the bowl, but it’s worth it to see the fruit. Substitute muscatels for the raisins to be a little bit posh.
- 150 g raisins, soaked in 60 ml (¼ cup) brandy for a few hours to soften
- 125 g unsalted butter, softened, plus extra, to grease
- 220 g (1 cup) caster sugar, plus extra, to sprinkle
- 1 lemon, zested
- ½ orange, zested
- 1 egg
- 225 g (1½ cups) self-raising flour, sifted
- 125 ml (½ cup) milk
- good-quality double cream or custard, to serve
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Soaking time 2 hours
You will need a 1.5 L pudding basin for this recipe.
Grease a 1.5 L pudding basin really well. Sprinkle it with a tiny bit of caster sugar too, to help prevent sticking. Drain the raisins, then press a few of them around the side of the basin or sprinkle on the base to create a nice spotted effect once the pudding is unmoulded, if you are trying that.
Cream the butter and sugar in a bowl with both zests until pale. Beat in the egg, then fold in half the flour and half the milk until smooth. Repeat with the remaining flour and milk, then stir in the remaining raisins.
Spoon the batter into the prepared pudding basin. Place a piece of foil on your work surface then lay a sheet of greased baking paper on top. Fold sheets to make one pleat down the centre (this will allow the pudding to rise and steam), then use to cover pudding, baking paper-side down. Secure firmly with kitchen string.
Place the pudding basin in a large saucepan. Pour in enough hot water to come one-third of the way up side of bowl and bring to a simmer over medium–low heat. Reduce heat to low, cover with a tight-fitting lid and steam for 2½ hours or until a skewer inserted in centre comes out clean. Top up with water occasionally, if necessary.
Very carefully remove the hot pudding basin from the water and rest for 5 minutes. If you’re keen to try turning it out, run a knife around the bowl and invert pud onto the plate. Serve warm with cream or custard.
Photography Alan Benson
As seen in Feast magazine, October 2013, Issue 25. For more recipes and articles, pick up a copy of this month's Feast magazine or check out our great subscriptions offers here.