We’ve surely done with fasting and food penance, now that January’s over. It’s time for us to loosen our belts and tuck into a bit of old-fashioned stodge. And by stodge I mean glorious, luxurious, rich, heavy, sticky, proper British puddings. There is nothing more happy-making, and I love them all: Sussex pond, spotted dick, crumbles, steamed puds and pies. Great stodgy puddings, such as jam roly poly, often involve suet and I urge you to use the real stuff rather than the vegetable equivalent. Vegetable suet is to the beef version as margarine is to butter: pale, miserable and tasteless compared to the rich, meaty fat taken from around the kidneys of beef cattle. Using the real thing improves the desired stodge factor no end, adding a wonderful rich flakiness to the dough that cannot be achieved by butter or veggie suet.
Roly poly is a classic pudding, but it relies on a great jam. I like to go for something fairly tangy like damson or plum, or mix it up with marmalade, or quince paste.
Sticky toffee pudding is more sticky than stodgy, but it’s a massive crowd pleaser – and pretty simple to make too. This version is stuffed full of dates and more spice than is standard.
St Clements pudding is one of my childhood favourites. It’s a fantastic recipe that scores high on the comfort front. Traditionally it’s made just with lemon, but here I’ve added orange and orange-flower water, giving it a slightly perfumed and exotic flavour.
By Stevie Parle
7:00AM GMT 31 Jan 2014 The Telegraph
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