Back in the 90s I became fascinated with steamed puddings. I had heard about them through the years but had never made one. At the time I was taking some cooking classes at a local cooking school and they offered a discount on all items in the store when you were enrolled in classes. One night I spotted a steamed pudding mold and couldn’t resist buying it. I started researching recipes and I was off on my steamed pudding adventure. My craze for is subsided over the years and my steamed pudding mold was relegated to the cake pan cupboard.
A few months ago my dearest friend Jill found a steamed pudding mold in a thrift store. She didn’t know what it was but couldn’t resist its charm (just like me) and bought it. She sent me a picture of it and asked me if I knew what it was for. Well, I did and we got to talking about steamed puddings and my interest was piqued again. I sent her a bunch of my recipes but life being as it is she never got around to trying one.
Last weekend I was back in Michigan for Jills daughter Mallory’s wedding and naturally the conversation turned to food. Jill is in the process of remodeling her kitchen (insert jealousy here). We started talking about what wonderful things we could make for this years YackFest. Since I only get to see Jill once a year we make a huge celebration out of my visits. We do a lot of cooking, baking and eating and we usually end up staying up most of the night yacking so hence we dubbed my visits YackFest. I remembered her pudding mold and suggested that we try one during YackFest. I have been thinking about it all week and started rummaging through my files for a good one to try. I usually associate steamed puddings with fall and the holidays but wanted one we could make in the summer. I found this one and it even states in the recipe that it is good all year and you simply serve it with seasonal accompaniments.
This recipe is from Emily Luchetti’s book “Stars Desserts”. Stars was Jeremiah Towers wonderful restaurant in San Francisco and we always enjoyed going there when in the bay area. Emily was pastry chef there until it closed
This is a very simple recipe. Generously butter the inside and top of a steamed pudding mold. Toast walnuts and then chop finely. Put 2 tablespoons of the nuts into the bottom of the mold. Sift together flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda and set aside. Cream butter and sugar until fluffy, then beat in eggs. Stir in the remaining walnuts and rum then beat in the dry ingredients. Pout the batter into the prepared mold, put the lid on and place in a pan large enough to hold it with at least 2 inches of space all around the mold. Fill the pan with hot water 1/3 the way up the side of the mold. Bring the water to a simmer and steam the pudding for 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until a cake tester comes out clean. Keep an eye on the water to make sure it is only simmering. If the water boils it will cause the pudding to rise too quickly without forming a solid structure and it will collapse. Cool the pudding in the mold and then unmold onto a serving plate.
The aroma of the pudding while it was steaming made me think that it would be great with flambéed bananas. For summer it can be served with sliced peaches sautéed with a little brown sugar and rum or fresh peach ice cream. I also think it would be good if you substituted pecans for the walnuts and bourbon for the rum. In winter serve it with coffee ice cream and caramel sauce.