Saturday, October 8, 2011

Diabolique - March 6,2009

It's a plot to make a steamed pudding.  Diabolique.

I have had fun winding my way through some cookbooks I owned and, as a result, my family has benefited from a nouveau deliciousness.  Oh unwary epicureans!

We are not so mired in the idea of non-tantalization of the taste buds that we must staunchly adhere to those recipes that reoccur and reoccur.  We know those recipes.  They are chicken, breakfast, tuna casserole et al.

We *do* steadfastly love our roasted meats in the traditional manner with sides of vegetables and potatoes and gravy, however, we enjoy a dip of meat into horseradish.  The shock of it!

So's anyhow.  My brother appeared last week with three, count em, three new cookbooks he picked up at a flea.

One is "British and Irish Cooking."  I picked it up and expressed surprise that it is, in fact, thicker than a pamphlet.  This is my unclear way of saying that the English aren't very good cooks.  Well, they are not.  I have been there and sampled, and they are not.

You can, however, find EXCELLENT Indian restaurants in England.  We Americans throw "curry powder" into stuff and call it Indian.  In London, Indian restaurants have a wide variety of curries.  I am a Korma girl.  Korma is bland.   Some of my friends would bravely make a fork foray into Vindaloos, which are hot, and they'd find themselves wasting away again in diarrheaville.  It's no accident that the dish ends with "loo".

I digress.

My grandmother got excited when I expressed interest in making a steamed pudding from the cookbook.  She says her grandmother used to make plum pudding and she enjoyed it as a child.  I looked at "Plum Pudding" and it takes an array of ingredients that I don't personally enjoy, but the recipe for Steamed Lemon Pudding looks lovely.

So, tomorrow, I am attempting to make an old new.  Revolution!

"Wish you could be here" - the next day:

The excitement over the possibility of successful steamed pudding is palpable in the household.  MY Grandmother hasn't had one since HER grandmother made them.

It's on the stove now.  I anticipate the request for a recipe, but I must make sure it comes out to satisfaction.  I would not provide you with a recipe before I had used all of my senses to ascertain that it was a worthwhile one.
This is lemony.  But what if it's too tart?  What if it's a taste vacuum?

The air here is just humming with suspense.  Will it flop?  Will it dissassemble?  Have I lifted the lid too much?  Is the bowl too big?  Is it going to rise?  I dunno, I CAN'T SEE IT!  I'm a visual cook.  You don't know how badly I want to peek under the tin foil, but that might wreck the whole thing.

Most importantly, will it unmold from the bowl I have it in?  It's an old, white Fire King oven safe ceramic bowl.  This could be disaster.  This could be VICTORY over a new pudding!

It's almost too much to take. 

PSYCHE.  Someone set the clocks forward and I thought it was an hour later....

I have time to share with you the recipe for Steamed Lemon Pudding.  Yes, ladies and gentlemen, it was a gem!  What a stunning success.  Some win Nobel Prizes, some work on the Hodge Conjecture, some serve God in the slums of Calcutta.  I make pudding.  Ok?

This pudding makes 6 servings.

4 tablespoons softened butter
4 tablespoons sugar
3 eggs, well beaten
1 cup sifted all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon doulble acting baking powder
Grated rind and juice of 1 lemon
5 tablespoons apricot preserves
3 tablespoons water

OK, so what you do is:  (I did this all in a Kitchen Aid mixer)
Beat together the butter and sugar until light and creamy.  Beat in eggs one at a time.  Fold in flour (I just added slowly with the mixer on lowest setting) salt, baking powder, lemon rind and juice.  Place in a buttered 4 cup bowl. Has to be heat safe.  Cover the bowl with aluminum foil.  Place bowl in a steamer.  I used a big Tramontina pasta pot that has the drainer insert.  Put lid on steamer.  Steam the pudding over boiling water on top of the stove for 1 1/4 hours.

I let the bowl cool in the steamer until I could remove it and then just turned it over and the pudding came right out onto a plate.

Heat preserves and water together and pour over the pudding.  Then slice.

Then eat.

Then smile. 

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