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Sussex Pond Pudding

Puddings and Sweet Deserts

A suet pudding, the centre of which is filled with butter and sugar, often with fruit. A suet lid seals the pudding, which is then steamed for several hours in a cloth. When the crust is cut the melted butter and sugar flow out and form a 'pond' around the pudding. Compare with the Kentish Well Pudding.

The, now popular, version containing a whole lemon cannot be traced back further than Grigson 1974, though Wooley 1672 suggests using a whole apple.

Sussex Pond Pudding
Image: http://www.deliciousmagazine.co.uk/

Original Receipt from 'English Food' By Jane Grigson (Grigson 1974)

220 g self-raising flour
110 g chopped fresh beef suet
150 ml milk
150 ml water
110 g unsalted or lightly salted butter, plus extra for greasing, cut into small cubes
110 g demerara sugar
1 lemon (organic, or at least unwaxed)

1. Mix the flour and suet together in a bowl. Combine the milk and water in a measuring jug.
2. Pour the milk and water mixture into the flour to make a dough you may not need to use all the liquid. The dough should be soft, but not too soft to roll out.
3. Roll into a large circle and cut a quarter out, to be used later as the lid of the pudding. Butter a 1-1.5 litre pudding basin lavishly. Place the three quarter circle of pastry into it and press the cut sides together to make a perfect join.
4. Put half the butter into the pudding basin, with half the sugar. Prick the lemon all over with a skewer, so that the juices will be able to escape, then put it on top of the butter and sugar. Add the remaining butter and sugar.
5. Roll out the pastry which was set aside to make a lid. Lay it on top of the filling, and press the edges together so that the pudding is sealed in completely.
6. Lay a piece of foil, pleated in the centre over the pudding. Tie it in place with string and make a string handle over the top so that the pudding can be lifted about easily.
7. Put a large pan of water on to boil and lower the pudding into it; the water must be boiling and it should come halfway or a little further, up the basin. Cover and leave to boil for 3-4 hours. If the water gets low, replenish it with boiling water.
8. To serve, ease the pudding from the sides of the basin with a knife, put a deep dish over the basin after removing the foil lid, and quickly turn the whole thing upside down. Serve immediately.
The sugar and butter should be in equal proportions, although the total amount may vary

Felicity Cloake's Sussex Pond Pudding under construction, after Grigson
Image: www.theguardian.com

Original Receipt in 'The Queene-Like Closet' (1672) by Hannah Woolley (Wooley 1672)

181. To make a Sussex Pudding. Take a little cold Cream, Butter and Flower, with some beaten Spice, Eggs, and a little Salt, make them into a stiff Paste, then make it up in a round Ball, and as you mold it, put in a great piece of Butter in the middle; and so tye it hard up in a buttered Cloth, and put it into boiling water, and let it boil apace till it be enough, then serve it in, and garnish your dish with Barberries; when it is at the Table cut it open at the top, and there will be as it were a Pound of Butter, then put Rosewater and Sugar into it, and so eat it.

In some of this like Paste you may wrap great Apples, being pared whole, in one piece of thin Paste, and so close it round the Apple, and throw them into boiling water, and let them boil till they are enough, you may also put some green Goosberries into some, and when either of these are boiled, cut them open and put in Rosewater Butter and Sugar.

Original Receipt in 'Whitstable Times and Herne Bay Herald' - Saturday 15 January 1938

[From the make-believe 'Mrs Pepys Diary']

As 'tis likely be cold and wintry the morrow I decide we shall eat at our luncheon a Sussex Pond Pudding. This is a very delectable warming sweet plain as it may sound in the reading, and for those of my readers who may know it not I put down here how 'tis made. Make a good suet crust with currants and a little sugar in it. and divide into two and roll out so that you have two thick rounds of crust. Roll into a ball butter and sugar. using one part of demerara sugar to two parts of butter. Set this ball in the middle of one round of crust, gathering up the edges, and over it put the other round of , crust so that the butter and sugar ball is entirely enclosed. Tie your pudding fairly tightly in a floured pudding cloth and let it boil some three hours, or longer if it be a very great size.

See also the plain Sussex Pudding

Other types of Pond Pudding include:
Blackeyed Susan
Kentish Well Pudding
Malmesbury Pudding
Sussex Pond Pudding

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