Suet pastry

Suet pastry

By
From
How to Cook Pastry
Serves
6-8
Photographer
Peter Cassidy

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
350g self-raising flour, plus extra to dust
large pinch salt
175g shredded beef or vegetarian suet
100-150ml very cold water

Method

  1. Sift the flour and salt into a large bowl. Stir in the suet and rub it into the flour a little with your fingertips, to help break it down.
  2. Add 100ml very cold water and, using a cutlery knife, mix everything together. Once you have large flakes, feel them to see if you need more liquid, drawing them to the side and adding more water to the dry flour as necessary.
  3. Use your hand to bring the pastry together, feeling the large flakes to ensure there is enough water in the pastry to bring it together comfortably. It should be soft, but not sticky or tacky. Work it in your hands until smooth.

Lining the pudding basin with suet pastry

  • Divide the pastry into 2 unequal pieces, two thirds and one third. On a floured surface, pat out the larger piece into a circle about 2cm thick and 15cm in diameter. Flour one half of the pastry circle (to stop it sticking together) and fold the pastry over to form a half-moon shape.

    Place the pastry fold side towards you and ridge it lightly with the side of your hand so that the straight side becomes curved and the whole rounded again. You will need to use your hands to encourage the open sides away from you.

    Open the pastry out like a purse, roughly the shape of the pudding basin. Use it to line the basin, easing the pastry where necessary to fit, and trimming off the top to leave a 1cm ridge that sits proud of the top.

Covering the pudding basin ready for steaming

  • Cut out one sheet of foil and 2 sheets of greaseproof paper, at least twice the diameter of the top of the pudding basin. Make a small pleat, about 3cm wide, in the middle of the foil. Put one sheet of greaseproof paper on top of the other and make a similar pleat. Lightly butter one side of the double greaseproof paper. Cut a piece of string, the length of your open arms.

    When the pudding basin is filled and the pudding is ready for steaming, place the greaseproof paper buttered side down on top of the pudding basin. Cover with the sheet of foil and push it down and around the top rim of the pudding basin.

    Fold the string in half and place the doubled string around the pudding basin under the lip, over the foil. Feed the cut ends between the folded end and tighten the string. Separate the 2 cut ends and bring each string around the pudding basin, still under the lip, then tie tightly in a knot. Put the 2 strings together, take them over the pudding basin to the other side and tuck through the string on the other side, leaving the ends loose to create a handle. Tie the string securely.

    Lift up the foil around the string to expose the greaseproof paper and trim the paper fairly close to the string. Trim the foil to leave a 3–4cm border. Tuck the foil around the greaseproof paper towards the lip of the pudding basin, ensuring all the greaseproof paper is enclosed in the foil. Your pudding is now ready for steaming.
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