This month we are celebrating all things Sussex so how about making a traditional Sussex dessert? Adele Trathan has put her spin on this old suet pastry pudding recipe that encases a whole lemon. Once steamed, the lemon should be almost candied and luxuriating in a pond of butter and sugar. Decadent!
- 225g (8oz) self-raising flour, plus extra for dusting
- 110g (4oz) shredded suet
- 150ml (6fl oz) milk
- 200g (7oz) butter, chilled and cubed, plus extra for greasing
- 200g (7oz) soft brown sugar
- 1 large ripe, unwaxed, thin-skinned lemon, pricked all over with a skewer
- Mix the flour and suet together in a bowl, then add the milk gradually to create a soft, but not sticky, dough.
- Remove a quarter of the dough ball and set aside. Roll out the remaining dough on a lightly floured surface to make a large circle (approximately 30cm).
- Grease a 1½ litre (2¾ pint) heatproof basin or bowl, and line the bowl with the dough.
- Place half of the butter cubes and half of the sugar into the bottom of the lined bowl.
- Put the lemon, which should be pricked all over (so the juices can escape), on top of the butter and sugar.
- Place the remaining butter and sugar on top of the lemon to fill the bowl.
- Roll out the reserved quarter of dough into a circle and then place it on top of the basin. Press the edges of the two doughs together to seal the pudding.
- Place a piece of greased foil, with a pleat in the middle, over the basin. Tie the foil securely in place with string, then create a string handle over the top, so the pudding can be easily moved when hot.
- Locate an upturned saucer in the bottom of a large saucepan then place the basin on top. Add boiling water and fill to half-way up the side of the basin. Cover the pan with a lid. Bring to a simmer and steam for 3 hours, adding more boiling water when the level falls too low.
- After 3 hours carefully remove the basin from the pan and remove the foil lid.
- Put a deep dish over the basin and turn the pudding out onto the dish.
- Serve immediately, the delicious juices should flow to create the pond – perfect with double cream or vanilla ice cream.