Saturday, February 19, 2011

Steamed coconut pudding

Pudding has several meanings in England. Over here in north America it means a type of custard, but in England pudding is used in the same way as we use desert. It also means a dish that is steamed in a bowl this could be savoury like steak and kidney pudding or sweet like treacle pudding.

Steamed coconut pudding is one of my fathers favourite old time recipes, I don't remember my mother making this that often but when she did I always enjoyed.

Like parkin this is one of the recipes I found in the little hand written note book of my mothers recipes, and I had never made it before, in fact I don't think I have ever steamed a pudding of any sort before.  My mothers instructions as ever were cryptic at best, but I vaguely remember watching her make it when  I was young.  (I hung out in the kitchen a lot when I was little)

4 oz flour
1 teaspoon of baking powder
1 1/2 oz shredded coconut
2 oz of suet (you could use butter)
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1 oz sugar
Milk to mix
1 tablespoon of golden syrup

These were my mothers instructions -
steam for 2 hours

Luckily I had seen her make this so I had some idea of how to put it together. Add the first 6 ingredients into a mixing bowl and stir together with a fork.

Suet is grated beef fat and you need to find an English butcher  we have one locally where they  have a vegetarian suet imported from Britain as it is illegal to import beef products. But they also sell their house made suet.  It is in little pellets and can be just mixed in, but if you can not get suet, or don't care to even try, you can use butter instead and just rub or cut it in first like you would for pastry.

Add all the ingredients except the milk and syrup and stir together with a fork. Add the milk until you have a moist batter. I doubled this recipe as I had 8 for dinner and used about 2 cups of milk so for the regular recipe I guess it would be about a cup.

Next butter a pudding bowl, this is just a bowl that is heat proof you can use pyrex or ceramic. pour the syrup into the bottom and sprinkled a little more coconut on top of that (I seem to remember Mum doing that)

Plop the batter on top and cover with parchment paper tied around with twine.

This prevents moisture dripping on the pudding while it is steaming.  I discovered that my pasta pot would make a perfect steamer, so I put a bout 4 inches of water in the bottom then put the pudding into the perforated basket and lowered it in.

Simmer with a lid on for 2 hours, you might want to check once in a while to make sure that the water has not dried up.  This is what the finished pudding looked like

Take the pudding out and rest for about 10 minutes then turn out on to a plate.

Traditionally this would have been served warm with cream or custard.  My family was definitely a cream family, we never had custard, but the cream over here really pales in comparison to the cream in England , any way it was all we had.

This tasted as I remembered but it seemed heavier and denser, I am not sure if the batter should have been wetter or drier or should have been cooked longer or shorter length of time.  But I will experiment more and see if I can perfect it.


  1. I just love coconut and will try this - perhaps as soon as tomorrow. I love that there are no specialty ingredients - everything a kitchen staple (butter, not suet.) I plan to do a post on macaroons and will link to this for the pleasure of other coconut lovers. Thanks.

  2. I look forward to reading about your macaroons another of my mothers favorites

  3. Sounds yummy. Steamed deserts take me back to my grandmothers and mother's kitchens. I would also try this being also a lover of coconut.