To my fellow Yanks (Americans), pudding evokes the visual of a thick, goopy, and surprisingly tasty dessert you primarily as a child. Though technically this would apply to the Brits as well, pudding is much more inclusive.
Pudding is a term, coined by Britons, for dessert regardless of what type of sweet or “afters” it might be. Most puddings are typically rustic in nature and are usually steamed or baked in a bain-marie (hot water bath), making the end result a soft, spoonable treat. However, this dish is not limited to dessert. British puddings come in several savory forms as well.
If you are unfamiliar with English pudding as a whole, sit back and relax while you learn all about these scrumptious desserts and savory dishes.
Top Three Favourite Puddings
My three absolute favorite British puddings are bread and butter pudding, sticky toffee pudding, and Yorkshire pudding. I first tried these English delights in a pub in Charlotte, NC called the Big Ben British Pub, just a stone’s throw from uptown and right on the Lynx Lightrail.
Sticky toffee pudding truly tastes like autumn in a bowl. I could just close my eyes and see the autumn leaves falling and feel the crisp air hitting my face. Meanwhile, I am snugly wrapped in a blanket with a steaming cuppa while this deliciously warm spiced dessert slides down my throat. Well, that’s how it felt when I first sampled this comforting and scrummy pudding at the local pub.
Bread and butter pudding is like a French Toast Casserole but kicked up a few notches. A bowl of hearty, warm custard-like bread soothes as it travels to my tummy. Topped with ice cream or whipped cream, these vanilla and nutmeg-laced spoonfuls filled me with homespun sweetness.
Yorkshire pudding is like a cream puff that’s covered with luscious hot gravy instead. A traditional and wonderful accompaniment to a British Sunday roast and a pudding you cannot do without.
Sweet and Savory English Puddings
As far as British puddings go, whether you choose sweet or savory, neither should not be missed. Trust me; you’ll want to try them after this explanation.
Click on the red links to watch the videos on how to make these delicious English puddings.
A Few Savory Puddings
- Black Pudding – A type of blood sausage commonly eaten in Britain. Can be consumed cold, as it is cooked in production, but typically served sliced and fried or grilled as part of what is called a “full English breakfast” in much of the UK.
- Yorkshire Pudding – Individual savory popovers made from eggs, flour, and milk then baked in the drippings of roasted beef. Usually served with beef gravy and is a staple of the traditional British Sunday roast.
- Steak & Mushroom Pudding – Made with steak cut into cubes, lamb kidneys (but can be omitted), celery, carrots, onions, mushrooms, flour, and beef stock. The beef mixture is enclosed in a suet pastry (grated beef fat, flour, and water) and then boiled in a water bath for a few hours.
- White Pudding – Also called oatmeal pudding and similar to black pudding, but does not include blood. Popular in Ireland, Scotland, and Northumberland; it consists of pork meat and fat, suet, bread, and oatmeal formed into a large sausage. It may be cooked whole or cut into slices and fried or grilled. It is a featured item of the traditional Irish breakfast.
Popular Sweet British Puds
- Apple Crumble – Sweetened stewed apples, covered with a crumbly sugared topping and baked in the oven until golden brown and crisp. Serve with custard or vanilla ice cream.
- Treacle Sponge – The traditional version is made with flour, butter, eggs, sugar, and golden syrup in the bottom of the buttered pudding bowl. Cooked in a water bath and then inverted onto a plate where all the gooey treacle drips down over the pudding.
- Spotted Dick – Made of flour, eggs, suet, sugar, milk, orange zest, and sultanas which is rolled into a log, wrapped in wax paper and then cooked in a water bath for an hour or so. Sliced and then topped with custard and dusted with powdered sugar.
- Victoria Sponge – A basic sponge cake made of flour, eggs, butter, sugar, and vanilla extract. It’s then layered with raspberry jam and freshly sweetened whipped cream then dusted with powdered sugar.
- Custard – Many sweet British puddings are served with this delightful vanilla custard or Crème Anglaise (French for “English cream”). It is a mixture of sugar, egg yolks, and hot milk, flavored with vanilla extract and cooked into a pour-able consistency with which to slather your pud.
What’s Your Favorite British Pudding?
This subject of pudding will have to be revisited as I cannot possibly mention them all. What’s your favorite British pudding? Eager to try some of these lovely treats? Log in and post your comments!