The Hawker Family Pudding Page

These pages will contain recipes for English steamed puddings from members of the Staffordshire, Shropshire and Black Country genealogy mailing lists. I shall be adding more traditional recipes over the next few weeks. Anyone with recipes to be included should email me, Graham Hawker ( Photos of actual puddings and scans of handwritten recipes from your great great grandmother make a great addition!

For the main family tree pages, click here.


Steamed puddings are usually eaten hot, with lashings of hot custard. The English variety of custard is a silky smooth yellow liquid, the consistency of thick pouring cream. It should flow smoothly but be sufficiently thick to coat a spoon, and should never contain lumps. Properly made, it is a truly wondrous sauce to accompany a generous portion of substantial steamed pudding.

In most English households custard is now made from Custard Powder, to which is added sugar and boiling milk. The most famous brand is "Bird's Custard Powder" but there are now several brands available including "own-label" versions from major supermarkets. However, if you want custard like your great great grandmother made it, or if custard powder is not available where you live, you can make it from eggs and milk using the method to be described.

The actual quantities of eggs and milk vary widely from recipe to recipe. Each household had its own style, but the method was always the same. The quantities I use are as follows, but I list alternatives at the end of this page:

You will need a double saucepan or you can use a basin standing on a trivet in a saucepan of simmering water. But first, in a bowl beat the eggs, sugar and 45ml of the milk. Boil the rest of the milk and the vanilla pod in a normal saucepan. Remove from the heat and leave to cool for 10 minutes. Now pour the milk onto the beaten eggs and strain the mixture into the top of the double saucepan (or the basin standing in simmering water). Stir continuously until the custard thickens sufficiently to coat the back of a spoon. Do not allow it to boil.

The hot custard should be poured over the pudding immediately before eating. Normally it is brought to the table in a jug and poured over each portion of pudding as it is served.

Alternative recipes use the following quantities:

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