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.
Fortunately, we had permission to use substitutes for suet, such as shortening or butter.
I made a variation on the traditional British “pud” known as Spotted Dick (or spotted dog). Instead of milk, I used mashed banana and lemon juice. Freckled Banana Pudding, anyone?
I wasn’t sure exactly how substituting banana for the liquid in the Spotted Dick recipe would work, so I turned to a wonderful book by Jane Garmey called Great British Cooking: A Well Kept Secret (1981). Garmey has a very appealing recipe for Banana Tea Loaf (p. 207) that looked to be a good guideline for converting the Spotted Dick recipe.
Freckled Banana Pudding
Combination of Garmey’s Banana Tea Loaf and Esther’s recipe for Spotted Dick
1 1/4 cups flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter
1/2 Tablespoon honey
1/2 cup raisins (I used a mixture of Flame, Golden, and Thompson)
2 medium freckled bananas, mashed
juice 1/2 lemon (I used a large one)
Combine the dry ingredients and cut in the butter. Mix in the lemon juice, egg and mashed banana. Stir in the raisisns. Put the batter in a well greased pudding bowl (I used a rounded bottom double boiler insert). Cover the bowl with foil or parchment and steam for 2 hours.
I made a custard sauce to go with the pudding (p148 of Garmey’s book). Instead of vanilla extract, I went with vanilla paste so I would have the lovely little vanilla flecks. The banana pudding was quite nice–moist and tender–with the lemon and honey giving the whole thing an extra special something.
Esther also directed us to the Pudding Club’s collection of recipes (the WikiPUDia). I liked the chocolate pudding recipe so much, I made it twice. It was so moist and delicious. “It’s DOUBLE good, Mommy,” my son told me.