Sussex Pond Pudding with Lemon Gelatin
This tasty English pudding originates from Sussex, which is in the southeast of England. It is made of a suet pastry, which encloses a butter, sugar and lemon mixture. The pudding is steamed for a few hours. It is heavy and rich, which also means it is less popular than it used to be because a lot of people are more conscious of fat and calorie intakes.
It is sad when this kind of traditional British cookery takes a back seat to modern recipes featuring low fat, low calorie ingredients, because a lot of the flavor disappears! Obviously, this is not the kind of dessert you are going to eat every day but why not make it once, just as a treat? You can make a sugar free gelatin dessert recipe with fresh fruit the following day, just to balance things out if you must!
While Sussex pond pudding is cooking, the sauce becomes thick and when you cut into the dessert, it runs out and pools. This is how the dessert got its name because the pool of lemon sauce resembles a pond. The following recipe uses lemon gelatin, which is poured over the Sussex pond pudding to reinforce the citrus flavor and add a new texture to the dish. Beef suet is used in the traditional recipe for Sussex pond pudding but you can use cold butter or vegetable shortening instead, if you prefer. Use thin-skinned, juicy lemons, which are unwaxed and have not been sprayed with any chemicals. If in doubt, use organic ones.
- 6 oz self rising flour
- 1 oz butter
- 2 oz shredded beef suet
- 2 fl oz milk
- Grated zest from 1 lemon
- ¼ teaspoon white sugar
- 2 small lemons, halved, de-seeded and in ¼ inch slices.
- 4 oz brown sugar
- 3 oz golden syrup
- 6 oz butter
- 1 package lemon gelatin
- 1 cup boiling water
- Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F. First, make the pastry.
- Rub the butter and suet into the flour using your fingertips.
- Add the liquid and mix until you have a smooth dough.
- Chill it for half an hour.
- Divide the dough into 2 pieces and roll them out.
- Use the largest one to line an ovenproof pudding basin.
- Combine the lemon, syrup, and brown sugar and spoon this into the dough in the basin.
- Top with the butter.
- Lay the remaining piece of dough on top, brushing the bottom with water and nipping the edges together with your fingers to get a good seal.
- Wrap the whole thing tightly with aluminum foil.
- Put the pudding on a deep baking tray and pour some water into it.
- Cook for 2 hours.
- Dissolve the lemon gelatin in the boiling water and let the mixture thicken.
- Take the Sussex pond pudding out of the oven and let it cool for 10 minutes.
- Invert it on to a serving platter and carefully remove the aluminum foil and pudding basin.
- Pour the gelatin over the top.
- Let the pudding sit until the gelatin has set.
- Alternatively, you can pierce the top of the pudding with a fork and pour the gelatin over the top, so it sinks in.
This traditional English pudding is really tasty and the combination of lemon, sugar, milk, gelatin and more works really well. The lemon gelatin mixture adds the finishing touch to this wonderful dessert recipe and enhances the texture. If you like, you can make this Sussex pond pudding with a combination of lemon and orange, rather than just lemon. If you are going to do that, you might like to use orange gelatin rather than lemon gelatin as the topping. You can see in the picture how the citrus gelatin dripping down the pudding looks really appetizing. The long cooking time gives this dessert a wonderfully sweet, rich flavor.
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