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Spotted Dick, The Classic British Steamed Pudding

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Homemade British Spotted Dick With Custard

The name might be a little suspect but the pudding takes a seat at the top table of British desserts. A moist steamed pudding laced with currants and flavoured with lemon zest. Served with a proper custard. 

This is a quick recipe to put together and will happily steam away on it’s own, but you will need to check the water levels every now and again. 

The outside of this pudding has a light crust and the centre is beautifully moist with really plump fruit. 

Beef suet was originally used in this recipe. I can’t find that here in Greece so I. Used butter, but lard, or vegetarian suet would work equally well.

The Corinth area in Greece produces some of the best currants I have tasted so I have opted to use those. But you could use any dried fruit.

In the video I’ll show how to steam a pudding properly, and practical solutions to ensure the pudding doesn’t stick and how to remove it from the bowl.


300g Self Raising flour

150g Butter

75g Caster sugar

Pinch of Salt

100g Currants

Zest of 2 lemons 

160ml milk


1 litre pudding basin

Baking string 

Non stick baking paper

Times & temperatures

Steam in a large pot of 2 hours with simmering water.

Watch the tutorial on YouTube


1. Combine the flour and salt into the bowl. Dice the butter and either rub into the flour by hand to create a fine breadcrumb like texture, or pulse in a food processor.

2. Add the sugar, lemon zest and currants to the bowl, mix and then add in about three quarters of the milk and mix. You are shooting for the same texture as I showed in the video. Slowly add the remaining until you’ve reached that texture. If your flour is really thirsty you may need to add a little more. 

3. Mix with a spoon but don’t knead. Generously grease a pudding basin and add a circle shaped piece of non stick baking paper to the bottom. Add the pudding mix to the basin, press down gently, top with a non stock cartouche (baking paper circle) and then cover the bowl with silver foil. You can use string to seal and create a handle, or you could improvise a handle out of non stick paper or silver foil. 

4. You need a pot large enough to take the pudding basin and something to sit the basin on. I use an old kitchen cloth but you could use a pastry cutter or improvise with something else (obviously heat resistant). Place it in the pan and add enough boiling water to cover the trivet and come a third of the way up the bowl. Place the lid on the pot and simmer for two hours. You may need to top the water level up with more boiling water from time to time. 

5. Gently run a palette knife around the edge of the bowl to release a little. Turn out onto a plate and serve with the custard!

To make the custard 

6. Split the vanilla pod and scrape out the seeds and add to the milk and the cream. Bring to a simmer. Whisk the egg yolks and the sugar together and pour over the milk and cream mixture while whisking. Add back to the pan and gently warm on the heat until thickened. This needs to be a nice thick custard.

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