With a soft suet sponge and sweet bursts of sultanas throughout, a traditional spotted dick is the ultimate warming pudding served with lashings of thick custard.
Steaming the pudding is what gives it the lovely soft texture as it keeps the sponge moist and springy - it's just how a old-fashioned spotted dick pudding would've be cooked all those years ago.
This version of the classic recipe has been tried and tested in the Woman's Weekly kitchen so it's sure to be a success.
If you fancy experiementing with this classic, you could use chocolate chips instead of sultanas. Or if you’re a fruit fan add in some extra dried cranberries or glace cherries for an even sweeter flavour.
Before you start, sort out how you’re going to cook the pudding, as you should put it in a steamer as soon as it’s been wet-mixed and not left sitting around while you find a suitable pan. If you don’t have a large enough steamer, place on a wire rack in the base of a pan which has a tight-fitting lid, so the bowl won’t be sitting directly on the pan base.
Sift the flour into a bowl and add the suet, sugar and sultanas, and finely grate over the lemon rind, taking just the zest off the lemon and not the white pith.
Add about 150ml water and mix to give a soft dropping consistency, taking care not to stir it too much or it will develop a heavy consistency.
Spoon the mixture into the pudding basin and level the surface.
Cover the bowl with baking parchment, with a pleat in it, to allow room if the pudding expands above the top of the bowl. Cut the paper so it hangs just over the rim of the bowl Then cover the bowl with a sheet of foil with a pleat in it and scrunch it around the rim to seal.
Place the bowl in a steamer or on a rack in a pan. Pour boiling water around it, to come about two-thirds up the sides. Put lid on the pan. Check water regularly to make sure that the pan doesn’t boil dry. Cook it for about 2 hrs or until it springs back when lightly pressed. Remove bowl from the steamer and turn it out on to a warmed serving plate. Serve with custard or golden syrup.