It’s that time of year again. Comfort food is the order of the day and we are all over salads and into stews. Eating well and taking time to enjoy food is a really part of a good life. Food has to nourish our bodies but it should also nourish the soul. This dessert does that for me & I bet it will have the same effect on any British person. It takes me bag to school puddings, my nan’s house and warm pubs on a Sunday afternoon
Steaming a pudding instead of baking it in the oven creates a different texture. It is something that a lot of us do not make at home — I think people think it’s difficult but it isn’t. The sponge is soft and light and really moist which is why it is perfect with something heavy like treacle. This is a recipe I made a few years ago & come back to often. If we’re having a family gathering I know it will make everyone very happy.
This is a gluten free recipe but if you’re a wheat eater just use 120g flour.
Ingredients: (serves 4–5)
You will need a 1 litre pudding bowl & a large saucepan with a lid
2 ripe pears
100g brown sugar
2 tbsp Treacle or Molasses
2 tsp gluten free baking powder
1.5 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp black pepper
2 chopped dates
1 piece preserved ginger (chopped)
30g gluten free oat flour (just blend up some oats)
30g ground almonds
60g gluten free flour (or just use 120g of gluten free flour – the almonds and oats give a lovely texture but are not essential)
2 tbsp Golden Syrup or honey
2 tbsp ginger syrup (from the preserved ginger)
How to make the pudding:
1. To make the cake batter: beat the sugar & butter until fluffy then add the eggs and treacle and beat until well mixed. Add the baking powder, ground ginger, dates, salt, pepper, preserved ginger and finally the flour. Mix well.
2. Grease the pudding bowl really well.
3. Peel the pears and cut them in half. Scoop out the seeds and place the pears in the bottom of the bowl.4. You can either add the golden syrup & ginger syrup now or pour it over the pudding after it is cooked. Adding it now means that the pudding will soak up a lot of the syrup and it will be a wetter sponge at the end. I like it either way.
5. Finally pour the batter over the pears and make sure there are no gaps at the bottom of the bowl. There should be at least an inch between the mixture and the top of the bowl.
6. When steaming a pudding it is essential to make sure that the moisture cannot get into the pudding. I use 2 layers of tin foil over the bowl secured with some string.
7. Put enough water into the saucepan so that it is about 8–10cm deep. I stand the bowl on a jar lid so that it is not touching the bottom of the saucepan. Place the lid on the saucepan & bring the water to the boil. It needs to stay at this temperature for at least 1.5 hours. Check that the water is not evaporating away and if you need to add boiling water to top it up.
8. After 1.5 hours turn off the heat but do not remove the lid of the pan for about 30 minutes.
9. After the resting period you should take the pudding out & turn it out onto a plate. Serve it hot with custard.
If you make this recipe we would love to hear about it. Make sure to tag us in your photos.