Cumquat Sussex pond

Cumquat Sussex pond

By
From
Real Food by Mike
Serves
4
Photographer
Alan Benson

‘Sussex pond’ is a classic British pudding usually made with a whole lemon inside, but my version is made with cumquats. This pudding was first recorded in Sussex, hence the name, and the pond is the gooey syrupy substance that forms in the centre of the pudding while steaming. It is crucial that you keep this boiling at all times, as a slight drop in temperature will cause your pudding to sink. Also, be very quick when you are turning it out, so the ‘pond’ will stay contained until you cut the pastry and allow it to flood the plate. If you wish to try it with lemon, I suggest you cut the lemon into eighths to speed up the cooking time, as it can take a long time to soften a whole one.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
100g unsalted butter
100g caster sugar
10-12 cumquats
150g thickened cream, to serve

Pudding dough

Quantity Ingredient
350g self-raising flour
100g caster sugar
1/2 teaspoon fine salt
150g suet
1 egg, lightly whisked
iced water

Method

  1. For the pudding dough, blitz the flour, sugar, salt and suet in a food processor to form a texture like breadcrumbs. Stir the whisked egg into the flour mixture. Add a few drops of iced water and bring the dough together by hand. Tip the contents of the bowl onto a work surface and knead the dough until it’s firm and smooth. Grease a 12 cm pudding basin with butter.
  2. Roll out the dough to a 5 mm thickness and line the basin. Re-roll the remaining pastry and cut a lid large enough to fit across the top of the basin, and be crimped to seal.
  3. For the cumquats, cream the butter and sugar using an electric mixer.
  4. Prick the cumquats all over and mix them in a bowl with the creamed butter and sugar. Pile the mixture high in the pastry-lined basin as it will shrink during cooking. Place the dough lid on top and crimp the edges to seal the pastry. Cover with a buttered piece of baking paper and then some aluminium foil, and tie with string around the basin to secure. Cover again with foil.
  5. Place the basin in a large saucepan, sitting on a trivet. Fill the pan with boiling water to reach two-thirds of the way up the side of the basin. Place the lid on the pan and steam for 2 1/2–3 hours, with the water boiling constantly.
  6. Unmould the pudding straight from the steamer onto a serving plate while it’s piping hot, or it will sink. Spoon it into bowls and serve with cream.

Medicinal Notes

  • Cumquats are rich in a variety of antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial essential oils. They’re also full of vitamin C, which performs many essential biological roles, such as collagen production and wound healing; it’s also a powerful antiviral. Such is the power of vitamin C that it can help prevent conditions such as neurodegenerative diseases, arthritis and even diabetes, by removing oxidant free radicals from the body.
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