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The Hirshon British Spotted Dick Pudding

The Hirshon British Spotted Dick Pudding

  • Author: The Generalissimo


Units Scale
  • 300 g (10 1/2 oz/2 cups) plain (all-purpose) flour
  • 116 g (4 oz) shredded suet
  • 14 g (1/2 oz) virgin coconut oil (TFD addition – optional, use beef suet instead for original recipe)
  • 50 g (1 3/4 oz) turbinado sugar
  • a pinch of freshly-ground cinnamon
  • microplaned zest from 1 lemon
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 egg (TFD would use a duck egg)
  • 200 ml (7 fl oz) whole milk, preferably from a Jersey cow
  • 150 g (5 1/2 oz) currants, soaked in water, brandy or rum (TFD prefer brandy)
  • ***
  • 18th Century proper custard, from ‘Pride and Pudding: The History of British Puddings, Savoury and Sweet’:
  • 10 egg yolks
  • 500 ml (17 fl oz/2 cups) whole milk
  • 500 ml (17 fl oz/2 cups) heavy (known as double in the UK) cream
  • 50 g (1 3/4 oz) turbinado sugar
  • 1 mace blade or 1/4 tsp. powdered mace
  • 1 bay leaf (optional, but TFD likes it)


  1. For the custard:
  2. Whisk the egg yolks in a large bowl. Bring the milk, cream, sugar, spices and bay leaf, if using, to a simmer in a saucepan. Strain the hot milk mixture and discard the flavorings.
  3. Pour a little of the hot mixture into the egg yolks and whisk thoroughly. Now continue to add the hot milk mixture in batches until fully incorporated and you get a smooth sauce.
  4. Pour the mixture back into the saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring constantly with a spatula until just thickened, making sure the eggs don’t scramble.
  5. When just thickened, remove from the heat and pour into a cold sauceboat for serving. If you don’t want the custard to develop a skin, cover the sauceboat with plastic wrap.
  6. For the spotted dick:
  7. Preheat the oven to 160°C (315°F).
  8. Place a folded towel or crumpled tin foil in the bottom of a large stock pot to prevent the pudding mold from touching the bottom of the pot. Add a goodly amount of water and bring to a boil.
  9. Combine the flour, suet, coconut oil, sugar, lemon zest, cinnamon and baking powder together in a large bowl and mix well.
  10. Add the egg and a little of the milk while constantly stirring the mixture. Soon it will be looking like very coarse breadcrumbs. Keep adding milk until you can bring the mixture together with your hands into a stiff dough. If it is too dry, you might need another splash of milk, although the dough should not be wet or sticky. Lastly, work in the currants.
  11. Roll the dough into a ball and press into a well-greased pudding basin. Put the entire stock pot with the pudding mold into the oven. Steam the pudding in the oven for 4 hours. Serve with custard sauce.

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