Steamed puddings have been around for centuries. Early puddings used to be cooked in animal intestines — as haggis still is. This wasn’t overly convenient. The intestines were only available when an animal was slaughtered, and required a good deal of work to clean them before they could be used.
Cloths for boiling puddings weren’t thought up until the early 1600s. Pudding cloths were lined with suet and flour, the mixture was poured into this, the cloth was tied up and then boiled under water for hours. When it was boiled in a cloth, it came out sphere shaped. With the advent of the cloth technique, Steamed Pudding making in England started to take off. In Newfoundland, a steamed pudding, such as Figgy Duff, usually comes as part of Jiggs dinner. Jiggs dinner is a boiled dinner done on Sundays with salt beef, cabbage, potatoes, carrots, and turnips. All are boiled together in a large pot, as well as the dessert in a pudding bag.
Steamed dessert puddings that rose (such as Christmas or Plum pudding, or Sponge puddings), would not have been possible before the invention of baking powder (in America, in the mid-nineteenth century.)
While it may seem like a lot of work, steamed puddings are relatively easy to prepare and cook. You just need something to cook the pudding in, usually a large pot and something to hold the pudding. You can use a pudding bag, an old (clean) coffee tin, or a pudding mould. Pudding bags and molds can be found at home and decor stores, or you could click on the ad at the bottom of my post. (Subtle as a lead pipe, I am.)
This steamed carrot pudding is a great way to hide a little more veg into your meals. It’s a sweet pudding, and should be served with a sauce. The easiest way is just to buy the caramel, chocolate, or custard sauces available at the supermarket. I will tell you how to make a homemade sauce, so stay tuned for that.
For your pudding, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and allspice in a large bowl. Add the raisins and currants and toss them with the flour mixture. Make sure they are coated with flour. It will evenly distribute the fruit throughout the dessert.
In another bowl with your hand mixer on medium, cream the butter and brown sugar until smooth. Add the beaten egg to the creamed sugar. With your mixer on low, slowly add the flour mixture until the batter becomes too stiff to mix. Fold in the remaining flour/fruit.
Stir in the grated carrot, potato, and bread crumbs. The batter will be thick. Steamed puddings typically don’t have much flour because you don’t want the dessert to be too gummy. Place the batter into a greased pudding mould. If you do not have a mould, then use steam-proof container and cover with aluminum foil. Secure the foil with an elastic so no water can get in or out. Place the mould into a large pot and pour water so it reaches at least half way up the sides. Bring the water to a boil and turn down the heat to simmer. Steam the pudding for 2 1/2 hours, then uncover and place in a preheated 350F oven for 10 minutes. This will just firm up the crust.
Serve with your favorite sauce.
Steamed Carrot Raisin Pudding
- 3/4 cup All purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp allspice
- 3/4 cup raisins
- 3/4 cup currants
- 1/3 cup butter unsalted
- 1/3 cup brown sugar light
- 1 large egg beaten
- 3/4 cup carrot, grated
- 3/4 cup potato, grated peeled
- 3/4 cup bread crumbs about one slice
For the flour mixture combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and allspice in a large bowl. Add the raisins and currants. Toss to coat. Set aside.
Cream together butter and brown sugar with you mixer on medium speed. Add the beaten egg. Stir in the grated carrot, grated potato, and bread crumbs.
Slowly add flour mixture to the creamed mixture. Mixing by hand if the batter becomes too thick for the electric mixer.
Pour the batter into a greased pudding mould and lightly press the batter down to make a flat layer. Cover and place in a large pot. Fill the pot with water so the water comes at least halfway up the sides of the mould. The mould should not touch the bottom of the pan, so you may have to use a small can or trivet. Bring the water to a boil and reduce the heat to simmer. Steam for 2 1/2 hours.
Keep an eye on the water level, just in case the water level gets too low. Just add a little more hot water if necessary. Once steamed remove the lid and place in a preheated 350F oven for 10 minutes.
Serve with your favourite sauce.
If you prefer individual puddings, divide the pudding batter among greased custard cups or ramekins, filling about 3/4 full. Cover with aluminum foil and steam for about an hour. Serve warm with sauce.