American-style Pancakes

American-style Pancakes

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Spotted Dick

                                                                      Spotted Dick

            This is a quinessential British dessert with a very saucy name.  The first mention of Spotted Dick or Spotted Dog, if one feels a bit shy in pronouncing it by its authentic name, was in 1847.  The dish aquired its rather saucy name because originally, the dish was made into a cylindrical shape that was wrapped in parchment paper and foil and steamed on the hob in a steamer for several hours.  The 'spot' in this dish came about because of one of the dish's main ingredients, currants that dotted the white pastry.   Thus is the history of this authentically British dessert.  It is argued that the name for this dessert was coined after a hard cheese that was smeared in treacle sauce that was called a ' treacle dick' in the 1840's. Ironically, the word 'dick'  comes form the word 'dicka', a German word meaning 'thick'.

   The dish consists of a suet pudding with currants and spices that is boiled or steamed on the stove in  a steamer.  It is served warm (Steamed again for another 25-45 minutes) and served with warm English custard.

Peperation time:  5 minutes
Cooking time:   1 hour 55 minutes (for a large pudding)
                           55 minutes for individual puddings


8 ounces flour, plain
6 ounces Atora suet (either original or for vegetarians)
1/2 cup Light brown (Demerara) sugar
6 ounces currants or mixed dry fruit with candied peals
300 mills milk
the zest of 1 lemon
2 whole eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Grease or butter 1 large (1 pt)  pudding basin or several individual (1/4 pint) basins. set aside
*Lakeland sells lovely lidded plastic basins!  You can omit the circles of parchment and foil if you have these delightful little lidded basins; simply butter the lids.
  1. Into a large mixing bowl, mix flour, cinnamon, lemon zest and sugar. 
  2. Pour in suet.  Make a well and add the eggs, then the milk
  3. Mix mixture well until combined.  Fold in the mixed fruit or currants.
  4. Pour batter into prepared basins.
  5. Take an 8 inch circle of waxed paper or parchment paper together with an 8 inch circle of foil and make a pleat in the middle.  Brush one side with butter or spray with baking spray.
  6. Cover the basin with the foil and tie with kitchen twine securely.  Make a handle on top of the basin with a seperate piece of twine. Fill a large pan with enough boiling water from a kettle to come half way up the sides from the rim of the basins and let it come to a boil.
  7. Steam pudding for 1 hour 55 minutes for a large pudding basin and 55 minutes for individual basins. Top up the water in the steamer every thirty minutes or so.  Make sure the pan does not boil dry. To test if the pudding is done, carefully lift pudding by the handle using the handle of a wooden spoon, remove paper and with a cake tester inserted in the centre of pudding make sure it comes out clean.
  8. When the pudding is done, remove from the hob and carefully lift pudding out of the steamer using the handle of a wooden spoon. Remove papers. Let pudding cool for 15 minutes.
To serve:

  1. Steam the pudding in a steamer again for 25 to 45 minutes or till heated through. Alternatively you can steam it in the mirowave using a microweavable steamer or just zap the pudding in the microwave for no more than 20 seconds.  However, the traditional way of reheating the pudding is on the stove.
  2. Serve the warm pudding with dallops of warm English custard.

Bon Appetit!

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