Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Staffordshire Fig Pudding

The April 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Esther of The Lilac Kitchen. She challenged everyone to make a traditional British pudding using, if possible, a very traditional British ingredient: suet.

Staffordshire Fig Pudding Taken from TheFoody.Com
450g (1lb) Figs
340g (12oz) Flour
170g (6oz) Suet, finely chopped

Mix the suet with the flour and make into a smooth paste with milk.
Roll it out to the thickness of about 1.3cm (½ inch).
Cut the figs in small pieces and scatter over the paste.
Roll it up, make the ends secure.
Tie the pudding in a cloth.
Boil it for 1½ to 2 hours.

I was going to steam mine in my crockpot, since I don't have a steamer, or a pudding cloth, or anything at all that would have made this challenge even slightly easier. I made up my pastry, topped it with fresh figs (from my mother's garden!)and then gave it a little sprinkle of brown sugar, just for luck (and because I wasn't sure the kids liked figs!)

Then I folded the pastry edges over the top and prepared for steaming.

I had located the old steamer basket we used to used for vegies, to go under my bowl and keep it from the bottom of the slow cooker, I had cleaned the slow cooker, invited a British friend over for dinner to help eat it all (in case the kids weren't too enthused), I had 6 hours left until dinner time, I was all set. Except when I went to get the alfoil out of the drawer, I found Master One had played with it all. So, no pudding for dinner that night, since I would run out of time for the steaming, by the time I'd picked up Miss Four from kinder, and made it down to the shops and back.

No problem, I thought. I'll whack it into the fridge, and go and get some foil early tomorrow. The bank account was a little dry, only $10 left for another week, but as I had enough food for dinners and the like, that was just for milk, and we could squeeze in a pack of alfoil. So the next morning, get to the shops, and I thought, I better check my balance at the atm before I get to the register, so I know how much I can spend. Only, instead of $10, I had negative $1. Stupid unexpected transactions. So it was a week before I had money again. I have alfoil now, but no more suet or figs, and the pudding has been sitting neglected in the fridge far too long to contemplate cooking. To tell you the truth, after all that, I'm not sure I'm game to try again, my slow cooker might catch fire, or my kitchen roof cave in. It just seems it's not meant to be. Pity, because I was looking forwards to seeing flaky golden pastry emerge from a steaming process...

Here's hoping I have better luck (and less dramas!) next month with the Daring Bakers.


lacochran said...

I looked up suet because I had no freakin clue what it was. Here's what I found:
"the hard fat about the kidneys and loins in beef and mutton that yields tallow"

Really? Wow. Um, okay.

SilverMoon Dragon said...

Yeah. I guess that's where the 'daring' in the Daring Bakers comes in. I bought the powdered type in a box though - no rendering chunks of fat from the butcher for me, though I know some did go that route.

And the Brits used to eat this stuff all the time - supposedly the finished puddings were all very nice, though I will have to take their word on this. I'm not game to try again.