Mrs Simkins’ Country Kitchen: Febuary 2016
Spotted dog is another name for spotted dick. It seems both names for this favourite old nursery steamed pudding come from an early colloquial word for pudding: puddick or puddog and that absolutely no mischief was intended in the more modern names at all! The spots refer to the dried fruit, usually currants.
This version is made with butter instead of suet – which gives it the most beautiful flavour – and contains eggs and milk instead of plain milk or water. Mixed dried fruit and peel is used in place of currants.
You can steam this pudding in the usual way for 1-1½ hours, but it’s easier and quicker to bake it in the oven, plus baking gives the pudding a lovely golden crust on top (or bottom when it’s turned out) which makes it even more delicious.
- 225g plain flour
- 1 level teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
- 2 level teaspoons cream of tartar
- 175g mixed dried fruit and peel
- 125g salted butter, diced
- 50g granulated sugar
- 2 eggs, well beaten
- 1 tablespoon milk
Preheat oven to 160°C (fan oven) or equivalent.
You will need a buttered 1.1 litre pudding basin, the bottom lined with a circle of greaseproof paper, and a roasting tin.
Sieve flour and raising agents together and rub in butter.
Stir in sugar and fruit.
Add milk to eggs and stir into dry mix. Blend to a firm dough.
Transfer to prepared basin. Smooth top level with a wet tablespoon.
Cover loosely with a double thickness of greaseproof paper, pleating the top to allow for expansion. Tie with string.
Stand basin in roasting tin containing 2cm of warm water.
Bake for 45-50 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.
Turn on to a warm serving plate and serve with plenty of custard.