Saturday, November 17, 2018

Steamed Apple -Raspberry Pudding with raspsberry compote


I'm so excited about learning to make steamed fruit pudding, which are cake-like desserts poured into a mold, covered and then steamed in a boiling water bath on top of the stove. The process is ancient and started as a savory food preparation that was stuffed into an animal stomach or intestine and then boiled. "Black pudding" (blood sausage) is an early iteration of a pudding. As modern sugar production started in the 18th century and made sugar accessible to the average consumer, sweet fruit puddings developed.

British puddings are nothing like American chocolate or vanilla pudding, which are related to custard.  The batter for puddings have a higher egg to flour ratio than cake and the resulting texture is reminiscent of firm bread pudding. I'm psyched about how beautiful this one looked, but compared to some of the puddings I've seen on the Great British Baking Show this one is elementary. 

Thank goodness for my friend Norma, who explained that a "pudding basin," is basically a 2 quart heat proof glass mixing bowl. Via Facebook messenger she guided me through the process of creating this incredible dessert. The recipe is a modification of an steamed apple pudding from the British food bloggers, Hairy Bikers' and the BBC food website. 

The process of greasing the glass mixing bowl, mixing the batter , covering the uncooked batter and steaming takes a bit over 2 hours, most of which time the pudding is steaming. 

Choreography: 
  • Grease a 2 quart glass mixing bowl (like a Pyrex bowl) with neutral oil or margarine 
  • Mix the batter until blended. Don't overmix, you don't want to create a gluten web, this is not bread
  • Line the bottom of the bowl with a piece of parchment paper and add fruit 
  • Cover with the batter, seal the bowl with parchment paper and then aluminum foil 
  • Set in a large stockpot, fill the pot with water so that it reaches about 1/2 the way up the bowl. Cover and gently simmer for about 90 minutes. 
  • Turn off the heat and cool the pudding in the water (much like you would cool a cheesecake baked in a water-bath) until cool enough to handle
Equipment:
  • electric mixer or stand mixer, mixing bowl, scraper, measuring equipment 
  • 2 quart pudding basin OR 2 quart glass (tempered/baking type) mixing bowl 
  • large stockpot
  • silicon mat that can sit at the bottom of the pot , between the pot and pudding basin. A silicon canning basket works well because it has side handles and will make it easy to remove the bowl after the water has cooled 
  • parchment paper, string
  • aluminum foil 
Ingredients: 
Pudding batter:
  • 1 pint (about 14-16oz) raspberries, blueberries or blackberries 
  • 6 oz  (1 stick plus 2 tbsp) margarine 
  • 5 oz sugar 
  • 1 large lemon, zested and juiced 
  • 1 tsp vanilla or Lor Ann oil's butter vanilla bakery emulsion (the flavoring is pareve)- optional, but adds an interesting twist 
  • 3 large eggs, lightly beaten 
  • 6 oz (1 1/4c) self-rising flour 
    • if you don't have self rising flour, use 1 1/4c all purpose flour, a pinch of salt, 1.5 tsp baking powder 
  • 2 large firm apples, peeled, cored and diced 

Raspberry compote: 
Blackberries or Blueberries can be substituted 
  • 1 pint raspberries
  • 1/3-1/2 c raspberry preserves 
  • 2-3 Tbsp red wine (preferably sweet)
Procedure
  1. Generously grease the pudding basin or mixing bowl 
  2. Cut 2 pieces of parchment, one for lining the bottom of the pudding basin and another one that is large enough to cover the bowl. You'll fasten the paper onto the top of the bowl with a piece of cotton twine (the kind that ties bakery boxes or trusses a turkey will work.)  Cut a hole in the center of the parchment paper which will allow the pudding to vent itself as it cooks 
  3. Tear a large piece of foil that is large enough to cover the bowl from the bottom UP to the top of the bowl. This piece of foil will fold up and then be loosely pleated at the top of the bowl to keep water from splashing onto the parchment paper. Don't close completely, you want the vent to allow steam to escape from the pudding 
  4. Place a small piece of parchment paper in the bottom of the bowl, forming it to cover the bottom and along the side for an inch or so
  5. Beat the margarine, sugar, lemon zest until fluffy and light. 
  6. Beat in half of the egg mixture , flavoring and then gently beat in half the flour
  7. Add remaining egg mixture and flour. Don't overmix. 
  8. Stir the apple pieces into the batter
  9. Boil several cups of water in a kettle (not in the stock pot)
  10. Drop the silicon mat into the bottom of the stock pot
  11. Drop the berries into the bowl, arranging in a single layer 
  12. Gently pour the batter into the  pudding basin, covering the berries
  13. Place the parchment paper, with the hole on top of the basin, tie around the top edge 
  14. Wrap the bowl in foil, loosely pleating at the top. Place in the stock pot.
  15. Slowly add the hot water to the side of the pudding basin, bringing the water to about half the height of the bowl. Bring the water to a simmer, cover the pot and steam for 90 minutes. Monitor the pot and add additional hot water if necessary 
  16. Turn off the heat, partially remove the pot cover and allow to cool. I've seen video of using the string tied around the bowl as a means of lifting the pudding, but it looks treacherous to me. My silicon mat has handles, which allow me to life the bowl out of the water, if yours doesn't have that, let the cool a bit before removing the hot bowl 
  17. Remove basin from the water , open and remove the foil and parchment. The pudding should be solid, but a bit spongy
  18. Gently side a knife between the pudding and side of the basin to loosen
  19. Place a cake plate on top of the basin and invert. The pudding will slide out. The parchment will likely come out with the pudding, remove the parchment by peeling off the pudding
  20. Gently pour the compote on the pudding, allowing some to drizzle down the side . Serve at room temperature or chilled. Store the pudding covered in the fridge, covered loosely with plastic wrap