Sunday, December 16, 2012

Spotted Dick

Our next new food item is one which definitely fits in the category of foods "decidedly British." It is also a food whose name may confuse non-British readers:

"'Treacle tart, Hermione!' said Ron, deliberately wafting its smell toward her. 'Spotted dick, look! Chocolate gateau!'" (Goblet of Fire, 183).

According to the notes which accompany Dinah Bucholz' recipe for spotted dick in The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook, "dick" is a Victorian British term for "pudding." And as I've mentioned before, "pudding" is often a British term for "dessert." So today we shall be making "spotted dessert." And we shall use Ms. Bucholz' recipe.

You Will Need:
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups bread crumbs (fresh is preferable)
1 cup granulated sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves
2 sticks cold butter, cut into pieces
1/2 cup dark raisins
1/2 cup golden raisins
1 cup dried currants or cranberries
3/4 cup whole milk

1. Fill a large pot with water and place a wire rack or overturned shallow bowl in the pot. Bring to a simmer. Grease a 2-quart heatproof bowl with a tight-fitting lid and set it aside. Note: I always make puddings in two batches, because I don't have a pudding vessel that is 2 quarts, nor do I have a pot that will fit a 2-quart pudding dish correctly.
2. Whisk together the flour, bread crumbs, sugar, baking powder, salt, and spices in a large mixing bowl.
3. Rub in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse meal with some larger pieces of butter remaining.

4. Toss in the raisins and currants or cranberries.

5. Pour in the milk and fold it in until the mixture is uniformly moistened. This is a much less-wet pudding than others we've made on "In the Kitchen with Harry Potter," so don't worry, you're not doing it wrong.

6. Turn the batter into the prepared dish(es) and press the top down with a spatula.

7. Cover the dish with the lid, making sure it is tightly sealed, and place it in the pot. The water should come halfway up the sides of the dish.

8. Steam for 3 hours. Add water to replenish as necessary.
9. Remove the pudding, remove the lid, and invert it onto a plate. Serve warm with custard.

This is one dense pudding! I really do recommend serving it with custard. I didn't have the things to make custard, so I poured a bit of milk over my chunk of pudding, which was a decent substitute. This is a lovely dessert to serve with tea. It's not too sweet, but quite delicious. Enjoy!

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