Roast the toast: jam pudding

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One of the things i love about having these two little blogs o’ mine is that i get to share my secrets. i mean not all of my secrets of course.

But definitely the tasty ones. This one is my little pilgrim trick. so easy and basic but not something we do much of in the US. big in england – at least at one time. and honestly i am not sure if it’s a common cooking practice there anymore. but i love it. try it just once and you’ll realize how simple it is. Plus, it’s the perfect way to showcase your delicious homemade jams, and you know what i mean by that don’t you?

Praise! praise! i’m talking about praise… And smiling bellies! Now tell me you don’t want that.

Jam pudding

6 tablespoons softened unsalted butter (plus more to butter basin and parchment)
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
rounded 1/2 cup sugar
1 large egg
2 tablespoons whole milk
1 & 1/4 cups jam

also needed:

1 quart pudding basin
parchment paper
kitchen twine
steaming pot
tea towel

serves 4 (or 2 big servings, plus another piece for breakfast) first let’s talk about the basin. actually you can use any quart size basin that can withstand 2 hours in a bit of boiling water and swirling hot steam. but a traditional pudding basin is reasonably priced, made just for this purpose, has a lip to affix the twine, and can be used day-to-day as a mixing bowl.

Before you do anything, take the pot you will use to steam it in. this is my steamer. i basically use the pasta insert and it makes steaming as easy as pie – or pudding! (i feel like a commercial here, but i might as well let you know that it’s a pretty awesome small-batch canner too!)

whatever pot you’re using, you want to make sure the basin is not placed directly on the bottom of the pot, so you will need some kind of steaming rack.

1. place the basin on the steaming rack inside the pot and fill the pot with water halfway up the side of the basin. do this before you do anything else so that your water level is prepared. then remove the basin from the pot.

2. cut a round out of parchment paper that is slightly smaller that the diameter of the top of your basin. butter well the entire basin and one side of the parchment round.

3. stir the flour and baking powder together in a small bowl and set aside. in a larger bowl, cream the butter and sugar using an electric mixer. mix the egg in. slowly add the dry ingredients until just mixed.

4. place the jam in the bottom of the buttered basin. spoon the batter over top. it will be a bit thick. smooth the top of the batter to even it out. place the parchment butter-side down on top.

5. begin to heat the water – medium high will do. wet your tea towel thoroughly and squeeze out any excess water. there are two ways to fasten the tea towel. you can fold it in half, tie it tightly around the rim, twist the long sides and tie together on top. like this:

or you can leave the tea towel unfolded, place it over the top, fasten with twine. and then tie the opposite ends together. done this way you’ll have four points tied together rather than two and it will be more stable to lift.

but i like to live dangerously.

6. carefully place the pudding basin in the steaming pot. use these or something like them.

7. steam for 2 hours at medium heat. check every 45 minutes or so to make sure the water level has not dropped too low. add hot water when needed.

8. after 2 hours take off heat. remove pudding basin from pot, and tea towel from basin. set on wire rack to cool for 10 or so minutes. run a sharp knife around basin rim to release pudding and turn out on a plate.

jam pudding is best served warm. but you know, cold for breakfast has it’s merits too. this, my go-to steamed jam pudding recipe is the perfect base for just about any type of homemade jam – i used plum noir here but the possibilities are endless.

you can up the recipe accordingly depending on the size of your basin. generally count one hour of steaming time per 1/2 quart.

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