Snowdon Pudding – how to take your dessert to greater heights
Last year I visited North Wales for the very first time and completely fell in love with it. We had a view of Snowdon from our bedroom window and we got a lot of walking done. We didn’t, however, get even a sniff of Snowdon pudding, which is a bit of a shame as it’s the sort of rib sticker that would have helped sustain us on our treks up hill and down dale.
My mother had a particular fondness for suet puddings and I was brought up with a succession of steamed treats such as treacle pudding, Sussex pond pudding and spotted dick, of course. The love of these has never left me, even though I now use vegetarian suet rather than lard. So when I was challenged by cottages.com to try my hand at Snowdon Pudding, known in the local vernacular as Pwdin Eryri, I seized the opportunity to dig out the pudding bowl. If you scroll down you’ll find a special reduction on a holiday cottage in Snowdonia.
I like to try regional recipes wherever I visit. We managed to track down some teisen berffro biscuits which are a local speciality on nearby Anglesey, but as previously mentioned, Snowdon pudding passed us by. It was first created in the Victorian era along with most other steamed suet puddings and was served at that time in the hotel at the foot of Mount Snowdon to refuel walkers after their return from the summit. It’s perfect fuel for yomping around in the mountains of Snowdonia. An old mate of CT’s has the fun job of walking to the top of Snowdon regularly to take the weather readings – I bet he’d go up a bit faster if he knew a slice of steaming Snowdon pudding was waiting for him when he got back.
I was delighted to find the pudding used lemon marmalade as I have a large stock of my homemade version in the cupboard. Snowdon pudding is traditionally served with a sweet wine sauce, but I used a tart lemon one instead. As I hoped, this elevated the lemon zest and lemon marmalade flavourings of the pudding and cut through its richness. The pudding itself was up there with the best of my mother’s offerings. As usual I couldn’t quite stick to the recipe and I substituted wholemeal breadcrumbs for the white ones specified in the original. When I make this again and I really think I will, I’ll reduce the amount of suet to about 60g as there did seem to be rather a lot of it.
If you love holidaying in the UK like we do, I can highly recommend Snowdonia as a top destination. It’s stunningly beautiful in a majestic sort of way. There’s plenty to do, even if hiking isn’t your thing: castles, museums, stately homes, gardens and beaches to name but a few. And I was really impressed with the vegetarian and vegan offerings in the local cafes and restaurants. CT certainly thought things had come 0n since his time living there last century.
Self-catering cottages are a fantastic way to make the most of local food. This cottage, Preswylfa, is located in the Vale of Ffestiniog, in the middle of the Snowdonia National Park and is an ideal location for exploring this spectacular region. Don’t forget a ride on the Festiniog Railway and a tour of the local slate caverns. When not out and about, you can sit out in the garden and enjoy the views And if it rains (it does sometimes), get cosy in the kitchen and knock up a Snowdon pudding. The kitchen is well equipped, so you should find everything you need. If you’re of a literary persuasion, you might like to read a novel by Victorian writer, Elizabeth Gaskell; she was fond of this area and spent some time here on her wedding tour.
If you’re quick, this cottage, which sleeps four in two bedrooms and welcomes one pet has a reduction for a three night stay on 24th June 2016. Normally £433, for this period it is, £393.40 (£32.80pppn). There are also reductions on many of the other cottages available up to the 29th June, so do take a look at cottages.com to see if there’s a cottage or destination you fancy for a last minute break.
- 100g suet (I used vegetarian suet)
- 15g rice flour or cornflour (I used semolina)
- 75g brown sugar (I used light muscovado)
- 100g breadcrumbs (I used wholemeal breadcrumbs)
- 50g raisins
- 3 eggs (I used duck eggs)
- 75g lemon marmalade (I used my own homemade)
- Zest of 1 unwaxed lemon (I used organic which is always unwaxed)
- 200ml water
- 2 tsp cornflour
- 50g golden granulated sugar
- juice of ½ a lemon
- 20g salted butter
- Mix all the dry ingredients together in a large bowl, except for a handful of raisins.
- Break the eggs into the bowl, add the marmalade and stir into the dry mixture until mixed.
- Grease a pudding basin and put the handful of raisins at the bottom.
- Pour in the mixture, cover with greaseproof paper and tie a cloth over the top.
- Place in a large pan with about 5-6 cm of simmering water in the bottom. Cover and steam for 1½ hrs, checking the water level from time to time.
- Turn out and serve with lemon sauce.
- Mix the cornflour with a little of the water in a cup or bowl and set aside.
- Heat the rest of the water with the sugar in a pan over a moderate heat and stir until the sugar has dissolved.
- Pour a little into the cornflour mix and stir. Pour this back into the pan and bring to the boil, stirring all the time.
- Add the lemon juice and simmer for 3-4 minutes.
- Turn the heat off and stir in the butter.