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Steamed apple and marmalade pudding

Serves 6Steamed apple and marmalade pudding with silver spoon

We rarely eat puddings as substantial as this nowadays, but on one of those Sunday afternoons when the light seems to go at about 3 o’clock, there is nothing like a steamed pud for cheering you up. Their very shape cries out for a hug, their old-fashionedness provides a comforting sense of continuity, and the sponge is soothing in your mouth. Marmalade, sweet, rich and tangy, seems a perfect cold-weather ingredient as well.


  • 150g (5 ½oz) caster sugar
  • 150g (5 ½oz) butter
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 75g (3oz) self-raising flour, sifted
  • 2 cooking apples, peeled and flesh chopped into chunks 2cm (¾in) square
  • pinch salt
  • 30g (1oz) soft white breadcrumbs
  • full-fat milk
  • 6 tbsp orange marmalade
  • 2 tbsp golden syrup
  • butter for greasing the pudding bowl


  1. Cream the sugar and butter together until fluffy. Gradually add the eggs, beating well. Using a large spoon, fold in the flour and apples, then the salt and breadcrumbs. Add enough milk to make a dropping consistency.
  2. Put the marmalade and syrup into the bottom of a buttered pudding basin. Pour in the sponge mixture. Cover with buttered foil, pleated in the middle to allow expansion, and secure this by tying it with string round the rim of the basin. Make a secure handle by threading more string through the string tied round the rim.
  3. Put the pudding on top of a trivet in a large saucepan and pour in boiling water. (The foil shouldn’t touch the water or you’ll end up with a soggy pudding). You can also cook the pudding in a large steamer. Cover the saucepan and steam for 1 ½ hours, until firm and well risen, topping up with boiling water when needed. Remove from the heat and leave to shrink a little before turning out on to a warmed plate.

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