St. Stephen’s Pudding Recipe

January 20, 2014
Saint Stephens Pudding

St. Stephens Pudding is a steamed apple pudding. Serve as a light alternative to a Christmas pudding on St. Stephens Day or Boxing Day.

There is something comforting about a steamed pudding. The gentle rattle and clatter as it steams gently in the pan makes you aware that a delightful pudding is on the way.  Sadly they are not so fashionable these days as health food is more of a fad. With the start of winter steamed puddings are perfect for warming you up.

British steamed puddings have been part of British life for centuries. They were originally made from suet wrapped in cloth and cooked in the same pot as the meat.  They migrated to pudding basins cooked over boiling water hence the name steamed pudding. The very names are melodic, Sussex Pond, Kentish Well, Spotted Dick, Canary Pudding and Jam Roly Poly. They can be both savoury and sweet.

Saint Stephens pudding. A delicious apple pudding perfect for Boxing Day

St. Stephen’s Pudding

When reading cookery books recently I came across a recipe for St. Stephens Pudding. The recipe was in The Delia Collection: Puddings, a book which seems to be out of print.  Delia’s Complete Cookery Course may offer similar recipes. There is a whole section on steamed puddings in this book. When I was young I helped my mum make Christmas puddings. I have many memories of helping to stir the pudding and then watching it cook. In those days a silver sixpence was put into the mixture for a lucky person to find.

St. Stephens Pudding is a lighter alternative to Christmas Pudding. It is a lemony apple tasting pudding with plenty of sultanas and is the ideal comfort food for a cold day. It is also very easy to make. The pudding does use suet so you will need to track this down.

I recommend serving with plenty of custard for a perfect comforting end to a Sunday roast.  The taste of this pudding is delicious. The apples and lemon really shine though bringing the promise of Spring to come. It is also a great way to use a glut of apples in the Autumn as well as making plenty of apple chutney.  It is a delicious apple pudding dessert.

Saint Stephens Pudding

 

Who was Saint Stephen?

Saint Stephen was the first deacon of the Christian church and also the first Christian martyr. He died by stoning after accusing the supreme court of murdering Jesus.  Now he is  the patron saint of deacons, headaches, horses, coffin makers, and masons. I pictures he is often shown carrying a pile of rocks or with rocks on his head.

The feast day for St. Stephen falls on the 26th December or Boxing Day (unless it is a Sunday). You are probably familiar with this day from the carol Good King Wenceslas:

“Good King Wenceslas last looked out
on the feast of Stephen,
when the snow lay round about,
deep and crisp and even.”

I am not sure why the pudding has the name St. Stephens pudding. It is the perfect pudding for Boxing Day. Lighter than Christmas pudding but still comforting. The lemony apple flavour works well with the traditional Boxing Day meal of cold meats and vegetables served with chutney.
Read more: Leek Pudding: A savoury steamed pudding

How to make St. Stephens Pudding

Often people think steamed puddings are difficult to make. In fact they are really easy. For St. Stephens pudding you just need to mix the ingredients in a bowl. Put flour, suet, breadcrumbs, sugar and salt into the bowl. Grate some apple into the mixture. Stir though some lemon zest and raisins. To bind the mixture stir in an egg and some milk. Place into a greased pudding bowl.

Wrap up the top of the pudding to prevent the steam making it soggy. Traditionally this is done with a cloth. The tied up corners make a great handle to remove the pudding from a pan. In modern times silver foil tied up with string are more common.

Place the basin in a pan half full of boiling water and leave to steam for a couple of hours. Keep checking the water level in the pan so that it does not boil dry. When ready turn out onto a plate and serve with custard.

Read more: Queen of Puddings

Saint Stephens Pudding Recipe

St Stephens Pudding
Ingredients
  • 4 oz 110 g white breadcrumbs
  • 2 oz 50 g self-raising flour
  • 2 oz 50 g light brown soft sugar
  • 3 oz 75 g shredded suet
  • a pinch of salt
  • 4 oz 110 g seedless raisins
  • 2 medium Bramley cooking apples
  • grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 tablespoons milk
Instructions
  1. Sift the flour into a mixing bowl and combine with the suet, breadcrumbs, salt and sugar.
  2. Peel, core and grate the apples.
  3. Add the raisins, apples and lemon zest into the bowl.
  4. Mix thoroughly and add the egg and milk to the mixture and stir until well combined.
  5. Add the mixture into a pudding basin, pushing down well. Cover with a sheet of baking parchment and tin foil secured with string.
  6. Half fill a saucepan with water and bring to the boil with the pudding basin in the pan.
  7. Cook for around two hours, making sure the water level stays constant.

Why not pin the recipe for later?

Saint Stephens Pudding. A delicious apple and lemon steamed pudding. Perfect for Boxing Day or for a lighter Christmas Pudding. Why not get the recipe?

Have you made a steamed pudding before? Let me know below.

Originally published in January 2014. Updated in October 2017.

 

 

 

7 responses to “St. Stephen’s Pudding Recipe”

  1. Dominic says:

    i love Delia and I know how amazing this recipe must have tasted… I too adore a steamed pudding… great idea to ‘rescue’ your random recipes entry… thanks so much for taking the time and entering xx

  2. Ooh this looks lovely, I’ve never made a steamed pudding. I even microwave my Christmas pudding now !

  3. Susan says:

    This looks absolutely fantastic … and having it with a dollop of good custard… ??? … well, that makes it all the better!

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