Last weekend I made a Sussex pond pudding and, as I occasionally do, I posted a picture of it on Facebook. The ensuing discussion included both a request for my recipe and a link to a recent Guardian article "the perfect... Sussex pond pudding".
Here's my recipe, fleshed out with a few pictures. I've taken it from a slim booklet of traditional Sussex recipes I bought a few years ago in a branch of "Sussex Stationers", a now defunct budget bookshop chain.
1/ Make suet pastry from 8 oz self raising flour, 4 oz suet, 2 oz breadcrumbs, pinch of salt, and enough water to make a soft dough. I use a food processor as I don't have the knack of making pastry by hand. The Guardian's recipe omits breadcrumbs, so won't have the brown flecks (from the crust) you can see in my picture.
2/ Roll out the pastry and line a buttered 2 pint pudding bowl. To make a better fit to the steep sided bowl I cut out three triangles so the remainder is like a radiation warning symbol shape. I then join these cut edges (after dampening with water) inside the bowl. Trim around the top edge then combine all the pastry offcuts and roll out to make a circular lid.
3/ Wash an unwaxed lemon and cut up 4 oz of butter and allow to soften. Stab the lemon many times with a skewer, then wrap in the butter, then roll in 4 oz of dark brown sugar. Place in the lined bowl with any left over sugar. The Guardian's version slashes the lemon with a knife and simply surrounds it with cubed butter and sugar which looks a lot easier.
4/ Attach the lid and trim the edges, then cover with a circle of parchment and an aluminium foil lid with room for expansion. It domes right up as it cooks.
5/ Steam for 3 to 4 hours (or a bit more), turn out on to a plate and eat.