Snowdon Pudding, North Wales
The 19th century was perhaps the golden age of the pudding. It was also when increasing middle class affluence, Thomas Cook, and frequent European conflicts helped British tourism become firmly established. This dessert comes from that time, said to have been invented by the chef at a hotel at the foot of Snowdon to satisfy and amuse guests who had trekked to the top of Wales’s highest peak and returned famished.
Such creations are normally made in large basins, but this is better in ramekins. Before making it soak 100g of raisins in cold tea without milk, or for a touch of luxury some brandy, to make them moist and plump.
Mix 75g suet, 180g breadcrumbs, 30g self-raising flour, the zest of a lemon, 80g of brown sugar and 50g of the raisins. Beat two large eggs, 3 heaped tablespoons of orange or lemon marmalade, and a tablespoon of lemon juice, and gently stir this into the dry ingredients. Butter your ramekins generously, then stick the remaining raisins around the sides and bottom, and pour the mix in so as not to dislodge any. Cover with greaseproof paper pleated, and a layer of foil likewise, place the ramekins in a roasting tray with boiling water 2/3 up their sides, and cook in a medium oven for about 45 minutes to an hour – peek to see if they are done.
The pud is finished with a sauce – almost an icing really. Infuse zest of another lemon in 100ml of boiling water for 15 minutes, then discard the zest and take the pan off the heat. Mix about a dessertspoon of cornflour in 250ml of cold milk, then add to the lemony water, stirring well. Add the juice of half the lemon, plus 50g icing or caster sugar and 30g of butter, heat gently stirring the while until it thickens.
Turn the puds out on small plates, spoon some of the sauce over each and serve.