I fell in love with puddings when I was at school. From a very early age I can remember trays of various puddings being served after the over-boiled vegetables had bade a welcome farewell. Jam and coconut sponge, jam roly poly, tapioca or frog spawn as we fondly called it, and chocolate sponge. Good old British puddings, rib stickers as my nana used to call them; huge, cheap and filling.
By far and away my favourite was the treacle pudding. The way the sponge soaked up that amazing invention golden syrup always amazed me, and even as I type, my mouth is watering just thinking about it. Pathetic I know, but such fond memories. I even loved the mint custard they served up with its centimetre of skin on the top.
Due to my job of teaching children about healthy food and the fact that just the sniff of a pudding seems to pile on the pounds, I have to be careful how often I indulge. A once a week treat isn't overkill, so risking the apathy of traditionalists, yesterday I had a tweak on the classic treacle pudding. A boiled citrus fruit, in this instance a satsuma, made for the perfect zesty purée to fold into a slightly spiced sponge base. It went down a treat. So much so that I ate half of it in one sitting without feeling any guilt. And it is still sticking to my ribs. Enjoy.
Spiced Zesty Treacle Pudding
1 satsuma, tangerine or small orange
100g butter or margarine
100g caster sugar
100g self raising flour
A pinch of salt (if butter unsalted)1 tsp mixed spice
8 tbsp of golden syrup
1 - Place the fruit into a small pan and cover with water. Bring to the boil then simmer for 30-40 minutes until soft. Remove, allow to cool slightly, then cut in half and remove any seeds. Blitz in a food processor into a smooth pulp and set aside.
2 - Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees C, GM4. Butter a medium pudding dish.
3 - In a large bowl, cream together the butter/margarine and sugar until pale and fluffy.
4 - Combine the eggs one by one. Don't worry if it curdles, it will all sort itself out.
5 - Fold in the flour, salt, spice and fruit and combine thoroughly.
6 - Pour the syrup into the pudding bowl. Then pour on the fruity spiced pudding mixture. Butter a piece of foil, add a pleat by folding it over in the middle then cover the pudding bowl.
7 - Place onto a baking sheet then onto the middle shelf of the oven. Bake for 30-40 minutes. Test by inserting a knitting needle or something similar, it should come out clean.
8 - Turn onto a plate or serving dish and serve to your grateful guests with custard, créme fraiche, Greek yoghurt or whipped cream.