Steamed Date with Vanilla Custard Pudding
Images from The Great New Zealand Baking Book copyright © Lottie Hedley
View the method
- Pams butter, for greasing
- 120 g Pams self-raising flour
- pinch of Pams salt
- ½ tsp mixed spice
- 90 g unsalted butter
- 30 g fresh white breadcrumbs
- 3 tbsp Pams soft brown sugar
- 170 g fresh dates, pitted and chopped
- finely grated zest of 1 lemon
- 2 medium-sized (size 6) free-range eggs
- 1 tbsp golden syrup
- 2 tbsp Pams milk, at room temperature
- 300 ml Pams whole milk
- ½ vanilla pod
- 3 medium-sized (size 6) free-range egg yolks, at room temperature
- 1 level tsp arrowroot
- 2 tbsp Pams caster sugar
- extra Pams caster sugar, for sprinkling (optional)
Back to ingredients
- Before starting, ensure that butter, eggs and milk are at room temperature.
- Grease a 5-cup (1¼-litre) china pudding basin with butter. Prepare paper covering by folding a large piece of greaseproof paper in half and making a 2 cm pleat at the folded edge.
- Open paper out and grease it with butter, then fold pleat back in, with the rest of the paper lying open like a book.
- Sift flour, salt and mixed spice into a bowl. Roughly chop butter and rub into dry ingredients with two round-bladed knives or a pastry blender, then stir in breadcrumbs, sugar, dates and lemon zest.
- Whisk eggs with golden syrup and milk, then tip into the other ingredients. Mix with a wooden spoon until smooth.
- Turn mixture into buttered basin, then cover with paper butter-side down and tie securely with string.
- Transfer pudding to a large, deep (rather than wide) saucepan, putting a trivet or a small, clean cloth under the basin to stop it clattering during cooking.
- Fill pan with hot water to come about one-third of the way up the basin, and cover with a tight-fitting lid.
- Bring water to the boil, then turn heat to the lowest setting and gently steam pudding for 1½ hours. Top up with boiling water from a kettle if water runs low.
- When ready, remove pudding basin from pan, snip off string and remove paper. Cover basin with a serving plate, invert and leave for 10 minutes to drop, then remove basin.
- For the custard, put milk in a small saucepan. Scrape in seeds from vanilla pod and add the pod, too. Heat gently until warm (not hot), then remove from heat and leave to infuse for 10 minutes.
- Beat egg yolks, arrowroot and sugar together in a small bowl with a wooden spoon for 2–3 minutes until creamy and smooth. Blend in milk.
- Clean the saucepan, then return mixture to pan over a low-to-medium heat. Stir constantly with a wooden spoon until custard thickens and coats the back of the spoon. On no account let it reach boiling point, or it will curdle.
- Remove vanilla pod (it can be washed, dried and reused), then pour custard into a bowl. Serve hot, or sprinkle with caster sugar and cool, then cover and refrigerate.