Saturday, 12 January 2013
Random Recipe challenge and a blast from the past - Thimble Mill Pudding
I enjoy a challenge (mostly) and as I have really quite enjoyed taking part in a couple of other blog hops, I felt quite enthusiastic about taking part in the Random Recipes challenge that I recently discovered and that is hosted by Belleau Kitchen. The fact of the matter is that I have too many cookbooks (yes, that is possible) and to be honest, tend to pick from the same dozen or so. This motivates me to do something different and freshen it up a little. Yes, that means you, diet ones, bottom shelf, far right. It is quite possible that you too will be called upon...
This challenge was a little different though, in that the premise was to select a recipe from someone else's cookbook collection. I rang my mum, also with an impressive cookbook collection, explained the notion and left it up to her. On Wednesday she turned up with a cookbook that my grandma had given her, worryingly titled 'Radiation Cookery Book'.
I know what you're thinking, but you shouldn't judge a book by its cover. The cookery book came along with the purchase of the 'New World Regulo Controlled Gas Cookers', which my grandma bought in 1935. But the recipes are fascinating, and though probably old fashioned in terms of today's fat free, faffy, fusion type of cookery, they contain an interesting historical perspective into what we were eating back then. In addition, I found a hand written recipe, probably war time judging by the dried egg in the ingredients. It was nice to see my grandma's writing again. I still adore her elaborate, cursive script, even though she sadly wrote her last words 15 years ago.
So, the random page opening revealed puddings (good!) and due to its practical, non coffee table book nature, I had several to pick from. I chose 'Thimble Mill pudding', because of the name mainly. It sounds old and English. And it's a steamed pudding. It can't be anything other than good.
The only alterations I made to the recipe was upping the amount of lemon. As the woman who eats lemon slices, the zest and juice of half a lemon isn't going to cut it. My choice of suet was vegetarian suet, and as the recipe and cooking timings are for one larger puddings, I reduced the cooking time to about half an hour for four 6oz dariole moulds.
If (or should I say when!) I make this again, I will serve with custard. Cream is okay. I had a little cream to use up and decided to do that rather than open a tin of custard, but you know, with a stodgy, satisfying 'thimble' of a pudding such as this, it really requires a moat of custard.
Abandon the diet! I present...
Thimble Mill Pudding, adapted from the 'Radiation Cookery Book'
Serves Lola, Finn, Mum and Dad (4 6oz dariole moulds)
My alterations in red.
4oz plain flour
2 oz suet (I used vegetarian suet)
2oz grated apple
Zest and juice of 1/2 a lemon (I used a whole lemon)
1/2 teacup of milk (I eyeballed this, using approximately 2 fl oz)
1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
butter for greasing the moulds
Demerara sugar for coating the inside of the moulds (I used soft brown sugar)
Preheat the oven to 180c
Mix the flour, suet (chopped finely) sugar, grated apple, and lemon zest together.
Mix the dry ingredients to a paste with the addition of the lemon juice, well beaten egg, milk and lastly the bicarbonate of soda, dissolved in a little of the milk.
Turn into dariole moulds which have been buttered and coated with the Demerara (brown) sugar then cover with a circle of greaseproof paper and folded foil to allow for any expansion and place in a bain marie, ensuring the water comes 2/3 up the side of the moulds.
Steam for about 25 - 30 minutes. The puddings are ready if the tops feel firm to the touch (or you could use a toothpick to check the mixture is cooked through).
Loosen the puddings by running a knife around the edges before inverting onto a plate.
Serve with cream, or, as mentioned above, custard. Lots and lots of custard.