The proof is in the puddin'

Steamed Lemon Pudding and Black Currant Jam

Inspired by Dom's phenomenal Lindt chocolate cheesecake which I had last night.
 I was in the mood for cake.

A quick rumble through my pantry cupboard left me with not much to choose from: peanut butter which expired in 2004, some packet soup, and some forlorn spaghetti.

Good thing I had some butter stashed away in the freezer, and some lemons from my Aunt's tree. So pudding it was!

My first experience with a steamed pudding didn't end too well. There is a reason why the first recipe I ever perfected was rock cakes when I was 8.

I had followed the recipe to a T for my previous steamed pudding disaster.
After I had lovingly ladled the cake batter into the thick pyrex bowl (problem 1),
I wrapped the pudding in foil (problem 2), and added water to two thirds of the way up the bowl (problem 3).

In the end the bowl shattered, the water rose too high and made it a boiled pudding, and the foil stuck to the cake. It was a nightmare, but this can be easily avoided by placing some measures in place.

The reason why the bowl broke was because I had placed it directly in the pot, which caused it to overheat and the bubbling motion of the water caused it to float and bang up and down, and hence to splinter.
You shouldn't use foil unless it is buttered, it is best to use grease proof paper for steaming
The water shouldn't be anywhere near half way up the bowl, there should only be enough water to produce steam not boil.

But please do not let my earlier attempt at making this pudding scare you off. The texture of a steamed pudding is amazing, it is soft and light and airy, and because of the moist heat cooking method used, there is no crisp outside, instead it remains soft and moist all the way into its fruit laden heart.

Steamed lemon pudding with a blackcurrant centre
serves 4

You will need:
A large pot
A 1 Litre pudding bowl which fits inside the pot
Grease proof paper
A stand for the pudding which fits inside the pot.

For the pudding:
80 g butter
100 g sugar
1 extra large egg
1 small lemon, zest and juice
175 g self raising flour
pinch of salt
115 ml milk
3 tablespoons of Blackcurrant jam
(Raspberry or Gooseberry jam is equally delicious).

Grease the pudding dish and boil a kettle full of water.

Beat the butter until creamy. Add the sugar and cream until light and fluffy.
Add the egg and the zest and juice of the lemon. Mix well.
Sift in the flour and salt, add the milk and mix gently, but well.

Spoon half of the batter into the pudding bowl.
Make a well in the centre and spoon in the jam.
Cover the remainder of the batter over the jam.

Cut two sheets of paper to cover the top of the bowl, making sure that it hangs over the sides. Using the string, tie the paper tightly onto the bowl, making sure to leave a pleat in the middle to leave space for expansion (the cake will rise a good 3- 4 cm).

Place the large pot on the stove. Place a metal stand in the pot (this is for the bowl to stand on, to make sure it doesn't touch the bottom of the pot - you can use a small metal bowl, or a metal cutter).
Turn on the stove to its hottest setting.
Place the sealed pudding bowl on top of the stand.
Pour the boiling water down the side of the pot, until it reaches the bottom of the bowl.

Leave to steam with a lid on for 45 to 50 minutes, and when the cake is pressed, it is firm and springy.

* Add extra boiling water to the pot as needed to keep the level constant. In total I used about 1,2 Litres. *

Serve hot with custard or icecream.