April 2010 Daring Bakers' challenge

The April 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Esther of The Lilac Kitchen. She challenged everyone to make a traditional British pudding using, if possible, a very traditional British ingredient: suet.

Traditional and British indeed! This steamed pudding challenge was exciting for me since I've never made a steamed pudding before and do not have any experience working with suet. I had originally wanted to try a steak and kidney filling but last weekend's menu just didn't accommodate another meaty dish so I settled on an apple and cinnamon filling.

It is somewhat of a strange concept to us North Americans to put animal fat in a dessert type item, however, I just chalked it up to being similar to using lard in a pie crust. I found prepackaged suet in my local grocery store and as described by Esther, was able to crumble it into tiny pieces after separating the fat from the membrane (this doesn't sound too appetizing).

The dough came together as described in Esther's recipe. I was able to use a large soup bowl as my pudding bowl and cut up four apples, threw in some cinnamon and brown sugar and put the pastry lid on. This pudding steamed for two hours and unmolded very easily onto a plate.

I was surprised at how the pastry turned a nice, golden colour from the steaming. Here is the inside of the pudding. I gave it a nice dollop of caramel sauce for some extra tastiness and it was indeed tasty. The pastry was a little salty, even though I only added a pinch of salt, so the caramel sauce helped it taste more dessert-y. It was quite tender and the apples kept their shape despite the two hour steaming. In the end I'm glad that I did this challenge. If I were to try it again I would probably use vegetable shortening instead of the suet as it was time consuming breaking the suet apart (not to mention super greasy) and I would do a savory filling. Thanks, Esther, for the fun challenge!