Tuesday, April 27, 2010

April 2010 Daring Baker's Challenge: Traditional British Pudding

The April 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Esther of The Lilac Kitchen. She challenged everyone to make a traditional British pudding using, if possible, a very traditional British ingredient: suet.
I wanted to be very accurate and British, I wanted to use suet, I really did, but try as I might, I don't remember ever seeing it here in Manila. I toyed with the idea of going to the wet market to procure fresh suet, or something like it. But in the end, I had to concede that I'd have to use a substitute. Although, we were advised that shortening (or Crisco) would be a better stand-in, I chose to go with butter. First because butter tasted better, and second because--well, I wanted my pudding to taste better.
I would lurk in the forums almost daily, reading how everyone else had an easy time making their pudding. I wasn't too confident about it first. I was more familiar with American style puddings. So I had to familiarize myself with the directions first, I read and re-read it until I felt like I could do it. I wanted the first try to be good enough because I wasn't sure if anyone would eat it here at home.
For my "suet" pastry I just substituted butter and added baking powder and salt to my all-purpose flour, because it's almost next to impossible finding self-raising flour here. It was fairly simple, much like making pie crust.
Next for the filling I chose something that would be familiar to us since I don't think "steak and kidney" pudding would be appetizing for my friends and family. I chose Chicken Pastel which is Filipino Chicken Pot Pie. I thought it was perfect because basically they were almost the same.
Lo and behold, it was easy and everyone liked it. I used my old steamer but the only problem was I couldn't find the cover so I used a stainless steel tray and weighed it down with a marble mortar. I steamed them ( I actually ended up with 2) for 3 hours and the color of the crust was perfect. Just the golden brown I wanted.
Here is the sliced version of my pudding

Type 1 Puddings — suet crusts.
Pudding Crust for both Savoury Pudding or Sweet Pudding (using suet or a suet substitute):
(250 grams/12 ounces) Self-raising flour (Note* If you cannot find self-raising flour, use a combination of all-purpose flour and baking powder.)
(175 grams/6 ounces) Shredded suet or suet substitute (i.e., Vegetable Suet, Crisco, Lard)
(a pinch) Salt and pepper (Note* If making a savory dish, can be replaced with spices for sweet if wished.)
(210 millilitres/a little less than a cup) Water (Note* You can use a milk or a water and milk mix for a richer pastry.)

1. Mix the flour and suet together.
2. Season the flour and suet mixture with salt and pepper if savory and just a bit of salt and/or spices if sweet.
3. Add the water, a tablespoonful at a time, as you mix the ingredients together. Make up the pastry to firm an elastic dough that leaves the bowl clean. The liquid amounts are only an estimate and most recipes just say water to mix.
4. Don’t over handle the pastry or it will be too hard.
5. Reserve a quarter for the lid and roll out the rest and line a well-greased bowl.
* I had to refrigerate my crust at this point because the butter was melting in the summer heat
6. At this point add your filling.. a couple of options are give below but have fun and go wild!7. Roll the final piece of pastry out into a circle big enough to cover the top of the basin, dampen the edges and put in position on the pudding, pinching the edges together to seal.
8. Seal well and cover with a double sheet of foil – pleated in the centre to allow room for expansion while cooking. Secure with string, and place it in a steamer over boiling water.
9. Steam for up to 5 hours, you may need to add more boiling water halfway through or possibly more often. There is a lot of leeway in this steaming time and different recipes give different steaming times. Delia Smith says 5 hours for Steak and kidney where as Mrs Beeton says 2.5 for a similar dish! One way to tell that it is cooked is when the pastry changes colour and goes from white to a sort of light golden brown. It is also hard to over steam a pudding so you can leave it bubbling away until you are ready.
* I steamed my pudding for 3 hours

Chicken Pastel Filling:
30m ml Olive Oil
250 grams Chicken Breasts
100 grams Chorizo Bilbao
50 grams Onions, minced
100 grams Button Mushrooms, sliced
30 grams All-purpose flour
500 ml Chicken stock
100 grams Carrots, peeled and diced
Preheat pan with olive oil. Saute onions, add chicken and chorizo. Cook for a few minutes until chicken is no longer pink. Add carrots and mushrooms. Add flour to mixture and stir while cooking. Add in chicken stock and stir well, making sure that flour is cooked and does not form lumps. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside. Add to pastry.
*The verdict--everyone liked it at work because the filling was familiar to them, and they loved the buttery crust. I wanted to make the sweet pudding too but I didn't have time so I might make a separate post for that later on. Now that I know what to expect, I will experiment with more fillings and perhaps one day try the "steak and kidney". Thanks Esther for this challenge!


Wic said...

great work. I am so happy that you had fun and you will try it again.

shelley c. said...

That looks and sounds delicious! I made a chicken pot pudding, too, though a different style. You should definitely try a sweet one - I think you will really enjoy it! Congratulations on a challenge very well done!

Anonymous said...

Interesting idea to use the chicken pastel filling. My husband adores chicken pot pie--I bet he would love this!

Mary said...

The filling you made sounds delicious, and what a great way to adapt the challenge to suit local tastes!

Suzler said...

Your filling sounds wonderful - I think I'd go down the chicken route too if I was making a filled suet crust. In fact, I might try yours - it really does look very good!

I love your photos too. Suet crust puddings aren't always the most delicate of dishes, but yours looks really beautiful.

Rachel said...

Great job!

Audax said...

What an amazing colour crust you got and the filling sounds tasty and great everybody liked so much well done on this challenge, beautiful photos also. Cheers from Audax in Sydney Australia.

Nick said...

Delicious! First pudding ive come across that was stuffed and the first one that cheated and didnt use the read suet. Gotta be honest, Im a fan of both! Haha, lots of suet available where Im at (all we have is pig farms and wheat fields here in Manitoba) but still, suet scares me. Anyways, great looking pudding!

bake in paris said...

The crust has a perfect color and the filling has great ingredients. I would definitely try this filling recipe, thanks for sharing :-)

Sawadee from Bangkok,

TaGa_Luto said...

Here i am again, as if i'm in the challenge! lol! I enjoy reading through the baking challenge end results. I must say i was a bit iffy w/ this challenge. I love chicken pastel but has never made it myself. It's my MIL who makes it all the time infact she just made some last month. I'm going to try your recipe and surprise her on my next visit to Chicago=;)

Cheap Ethnic Eatz said...

I am sure your chicken pastel is so much more exotic then a chicken pot pie. Great job even with the suet substitute 9which I did to)

Anonymous said...

My husband would love the chicken filling. Sounds great!
Thanks for visiting my site. Greetings from Calgary, Canada

anjelikuh said...

love how golden your crust looks. The chicken pot pie variation looks yummy as well. great job!

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Very well done! your pudding looks delicious!



Claire said...

Looks great!!! The texture of the crust definitely reminded me of chicken pot pie.

Kel said...

Your chicken filling looks wonderful as does the pudding crust! Nice job on the challenge :).

Lori said...

Your pudding looks perfect!

The Betz Family said...

That looks great! Your crust looks very flaky. Nice job on the challenge!

Aparna said...

I think you've done a great job with this challenge. Congrats!

linda said...

your pudding looks so good. Despite the fact that it took 3 hours to achieve that golden brown coloured crust, I think it was well worth it.

Marcellina said...

It's good to try to be traditional but I agree with you - if it's not appealing to the people you are feeding you really need to adapt a recipe that is familiar. And isn't it amazing that from culture to culture recipes are so similar? Great work!

Anonymous said...

With or with out the suet your pudding looks fantastic:)