Steamed puddings are such a treat, but I don’t often get around to making one. Please don’t think that this is a long-winded pudding – you will have the ingredients thrown together in less than 5 minutes, then you can pretty much leave it alone during the 2 hour steaming time. Ideal for Easter Sunday lunch – prepare this first, and have it steaming away whilst you cook the main course.
Hot cross buns work incredibly well in the custardy filling – I’ve added some extra sultanas and chocolate chips just to make sure that every slice is packed full of loveliness!
Serve with lashings of custard.
- 6 hot cross buns
- 75 g sultanas
- 75 g chocolate chips
- zest of 1 lemon
- 50 g dark brown sugar
- 275 ml milk
- 150 ml double cream
- 3 eggs
Slice the crossed tops off the hot cross buns and set aside. Cut the remainder of each bun into 2cm chunks. Place in a large bowl with the sultanas, chocolate chips and lemon zest.
In a separate bowl, beat together the sugar, milk, cream and eggs. pour this mixture into the large bowl with the hot cross buns and mix well to combine. (Don't worry that there is a lot of liquid - it will soak up during cooking!).
Grease a pudding basin (around 2 pint / 1.1 litre basin), and arrange the hot cross bun tops with crosses facing outwards - 1 at the base of the basin and 5 around the edge (see photo). Pour the bowl of hot cross bun mixture carefully into the centre, roughly trying to keep the bun tops in place as far as possible.
Take a large sheet of foil and large sheet of greaseproof paper and place them one on top of the other. Fold a pleat down the centre and tie securely around the top of your basin with string. (If you haven't done this before, you may find this BBC video tutorial useful - I did!).
Pour boiling water into a large saucepan about half full. Place a steamer over the top, and pop the pudding in. Turn the heat down to a gentle simmer and steam for 2 hours, checking every half hour or so that there is still enough water in the bottom of the pan and topping up if necessary.
(NB if you don't have a saucepan big enough, or a steamer, you can also steam this in the oven - just place your pudding basin in a roasting tin filled with boiling water, and make a dome of foil over the top, sealing tightly so no steam can escape. Cook at 150C / 300F / Gas Mark 2 for 2 hours, checking half way through that there is still enough water in the tin).
After 2 hours, remove the pudding, leave to stand for 5 minutes or so, then loosen round the edges with a knife and turn out onto a plate. Slice at the table and serve with hot custard.