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Vegan MoFo day 17 - Sussex Pond Pudding, a traditional local dish

Today's MoFo prompt, cook a local dish, is a bit of a head scratcher. Does local mean from my town? My county? My country?

Given there's no good answers to that, I'm going to settle down with a recipe that's local to a particular part of England - albeit not my particular part of England.

Sussex Pond Pudding, as the name suggests, hails from the county of Sussex, one of the regions that border London. It's a very old recipe, apparently dating from the 17th century. You can kind of tell that, given the vast amount of fat and sugar that's in it - I guess people in the 1600s didn't live long enough to worry about diabetes or tooth decay!

The pond in the name refers to the thick caramel sauce that will seep out when the pudding is cut. No word on why it's a dish local to Sussex though - I'm pretty sure they're not known for their lemon groves over there!

According to the lazy person's font of all knowledge, Wikipedia, the original version didn't use a lemon in the centre, but an apple. Over time, however, it's a lemon that's become the accepted recipe. I was a bit dubious about whether or not to eat the lemon itself, but it becomes like a slightly sweeter marmalade version of itself. It's still pretty sharp, so don't go chowing down full speed.

Vegan Sussex Pond Pudding recipe

220g flour
110g vegan suet
150mls non-dairy milk
Zest of one lemon
Another whole lemon
Pinch of salt
80g light brown sugar 
80g vegan butter equivalent, plus a bit extra for greasing.

How you do it
Grease a five-inch pudding basin.
Mix together flour, suet, zest, and salt until combined, then add milk and bring together until you have  dough.
Roll out the dough until you have a large circle, about 30cms across. Cut out a third (so you have a sort of Pac-Man shape) and bring the two cut sides together to make a cone.
Put the dough cone in the basin and pat down.
Mix together the butter and sugar. Put half of the mix in the bottom of the dough base.
Pierce the lemon a good few times with a skewer and add to the basin. Pack the rest of the butter and sugar mix around it.
Take the remaining one third of dough and roll out to make a lid.
Brush the dough in the basin with water and press the lid down on top. 
Put a circle of pleated baking parchment, greaseproof paper or foil over the top of the pudding, and tie string around the circumference to keep it down.
Take a large saucepan and put a small sauce in the bottom. Put the basin on top of the saucer and pour boiling water into the saucepan until it reaches about two-thirds of the way up the basin.
Put on a low heat and leave to steam for two hours.
Let pudding rest for 10 minutes before turning out. 

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  1. What a curious pudding! The Pac Man shape is a very helpful note. I wonder how it transitioned from an apple to a lemon? The apple would be so good, why mess with it?

  2. This looks awesome and not what I was expecting when you said pudding! I've never had anything like this! What is vegan suet? Your comment about lemons is funny! I think they only grow in more tropical locations. :-)

  3. Awesome. I have made a vegetarian version of Sussex Pond Puddings, but don't think I had ever seen a vegan variation, so hats of to you. And vegan/vegetarian suet is an ingredient that enters my home come autumn, so you will see it in some of my recipes soon too, but one I will share for Vegan Mofo prompt #17

  4. Whoa whoa whoa I want to make this.

  5. Wow, this looks so interesting. I like the idea of the lemon turning into a sort of marmalade inside.

    I've never made a boiled pudding, but I really want to try one.

  6. I love little suet puddings, and the idea of a lemon in the centre is certainly intriguing. Good working finding such a local dish!

  7. Wow, that lemon in the middle was a surprise! The pudding looks magnificent. I've never made a suet pudding but I really want to make a vegan steak and kidney one. It was always my favourite thing from the chippy when I was a kid.

  8. how awesome, with a peekaboo lemon as a bonus!

  9. I've never heard of this, despite spending a fair bit of time in Sussex! There is so much food history in England, I love it :D This is really intriguing and I'm also pretty inexperienced with suet puddings so I will mark it for future experimenting.

  10. Wow, I've never seen anything like this - especially with the lemon inside!

  11. How cool! I've never heard of this, which I suppose is the point of this assignment?! It does look nicely rich and decadent!

  12. I love all these Euro "puddings" you're featuring... just not a food group I see very often in my life. That little lemon in the middle looks and sounds amazing! I love marmalade, so I rather like the idea of finding a whole marmaladized lemon in the middle of my pudding!


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