Spotted dick is a lovely, spongy lemony pudding ‘spotted’ with currants. Steamed on the stovetop in a water bath, this is classic British dessert is served with warm English custard. A warming and comforting dessert for those cold winter nights.
Well, here we are with another unfortunately funny British food name. Remember the cock-a-leekie soup with the funny name?
The spotted Dick name comes from the ‘spotting’ of currants you see around the pudding. But who is Dick?
This part of the name seems to come from the shortened Old English names for pudding: puddog or puddick. In Scotland, it is often called Spotted Dog Pudding.
I know, it didn’t make sense to me either. I thought it was named after someone called Richard. I digress.
As I mentioned, the pudding is steamed. This is done by putting the ceramic bowl containing the dough into a large pan (I used my stock pot), filling it 2/3 with water and steaming with the lid on for 2 hours.
This produces an even cooking and makes the pudding light and moist.
I want to talk about the ingredients, particularly the shortening. Because this is a traditional British pudding, instead of shortening, something called suet is normally used.
Suet is a beef fat (not beef drippings) that is very popular in British cooking. It is used for sweet and savory dishes like dumplings and sweet minced pies.
It very popular for pastries because it produces a light and soft dough. Since suet is not available to me here in the U.S., shortening is the best substitute.
This pudding must be served with warm custard, it’s a must! If you haven’t had warm English custard, you are in for a treat.
It’s very easy to make and oh so good! Now I just need a warm fire and some cozy slippers.
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