Surely nothing is evocative of a British pudding than a piping steamed sponge? I have to hand over this recipe to my mother who puffs, proud as a peacock, every time this pudding hits the table.
Prep Time – 20 minutes . Cook Time – 2 hours
175g butter, softened plus a little extra for greasing
175g caster sugar
1 lemon, zested
1 tsp vanilla essence
3 medium eggs, lightly beaten
1 tbsp plain flour
175g self raising flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/ Grease a 1 litre pudding basin liberally with softened butter.
2/ In a medium bowl cream together butter and sugar until pale and light. Stir in lemon zest and vanilla essence then slowly add the beaten egg.
3/ Lightly wash the blueberries in water, drain off any excess water and sprinkle the plain flour over the fruit.
4/ Fold in the self raising flour and baking powder through the creamed mixture and finally fold through the floury blueberries (the flour on the outside will help them cling to the batter and not all sink to the bottom).
5/ Spoon the mixture into a pudding basin and cover with buttered kitchen foil, making a pleat in the foil across the top of the basin. Tie firmly with string.
6/ Steam for 2 hours, until risen and turn out. If you don't own a steamer put an upturned saucer in a deep pan and rest your pudding basin on the top. Add cold water until its about 1/4 of the way up the basin. Put the pan on the heat and bring to the boil. Lower the temperature and keep topping up with water, more often than you think, every 15 minutes to make sure there is constant steam.
7/ To serve, turn out and lavishly smother golden syrup on the top.
Tip – If you unveil your pudding and are sure that it may not be cooked through in the middle (perhaps a little water has tunnelled its way inside) then give it thirty seconds on high in the microwave. Not the best, I know, but when there are six hungry people waiting for their pudding....