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 am starting off with my own personal favourite, Pineapple Steamed Pudding. It isn't one of the most traditional recipes but is an impressive and light introduction to puddings for those not used to the joys of of this rich concoction of steamed delight. I shall be adding more traditional recipes over the next few weeks. Anyone with recipes to be included should email me, Graham Hawker (

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Pineapple Steamed Pudding

This pudding is not only delicious, it looks really impressive!

You will need:

  • A one-litre (2 pint) pudding basin
  • Greaseproof Paper
  • Aluminium Foil
  • String
  • 250g tin of pineapple rings
  • 50g GlacÚ Cherries
  • 75g raisins
  • 25g candied peel
  • 25g chopped walnuts
  • 50g fresh white breadcrumbs (from day-old bread)
  • 100g self-raising flour
  • 125g margarine
  • 125g caster sugar
  • 2 tablespoons golden syrup
  • 2 eggs
  • pinch of salt
  • a knob of butter for greasing the basin

For an index to pudding recipes, click here.
Pineapple Steamed Pudding

For the benefit of those who are not used to making steamed puddings, I will describe the process in detail. Accomplished cooks will bear with me (and email me any improvements!).

Grease thoroughly the inside of the basin with butter by rubbing the knob of butter all round the inside of the basin. Then place the basin in the refrigerator. Now place the margarine and sugar together in a bowl and cream them together

To achieve a light pudding it is important to cream the margarine and sugar thoroughly and beat the eggs well. The procedure I use is to start with a knife, cutting the margarine into small pieces in the sugar. Then, with the back of a spoon, press the margarine into the sugar using a rapid cutting motion (with the back of the spoon) rotating the bowl at the same time. Once the sugar and margarine are thoroughly mixed, use an electric whisk to create a light fluffy mixture (usually about 5 minutes).

Now beat the eggs in a separate container, using an electric whisk until the eggs are frothy and full of small bubbles. Add this to the margarine/sugar mixture a little at a time beating thoroughly all the while. Finally sift in the flour and salt, mixing with a folding motion using a spoon, and then add the breadcrumbs in the same way. Set aside 5 glacÚ cherries and 3 pineapple rings. Chop the remaining cherries, candied peel and pineapple rings into small pieces (about the size of a quarter to a half of a cherry). Add this chopped fruit plus the walnuts and raisins to the flour mixture, stirring to distribute everything evenly.

Now we can make the pudding! Take the greased basin from the refrigerator. Cut a circle of greaseproof paper the size of the bottom of the basin and place inside the bottom of the basin. Put the golden syrup on top of this paper and let it spread out evenly. On top of the syrup place one of the pineaple rings you set aside and put one of the 5 cherries in the centre. Now cut the remaining two pineapple rings in half and arrange the four halves around the base ring, with the cut edges downwards and a cherry in the centre of each. (See the picture at the right to see how it should be). Put the flour mixture on top af all this and level off, taking care not to disturb the pineapple rings. Do not fill the basin more than three quarters full as the pudding will expand.

pudding base

Cover the basin as follows. Put a pleat in the centre of a sheet of greaseproof paper (fold as shown in the diagram on the right) and place over the basin with the pleat crossing the centre of the basin. Using the string, tie this on like a lid, tying the string tightly under the rim of the basin. Cut off the excess paper and repeat the process with the foil (not forgetting the pleat).


Now we only have to steam the pudding! In the bottom of a large saucepan place a trivet or a triangle of forks to support the basin so that it doesn't touch the base of the saucepan. Place the basin on top of the trivet (or forks) and add cold water to the saucepan until it is about half way up the sides of the basin. Put a lid on the saucepan and bring to the boil. Now reduce the heat to maintain a gentle rolling boil for one and a half hours, adding more boiling water every half hour so that it doesn't boil dry.

Finally, we can remove the basin from the saucepan and allow to cool for a few minutes. Remove the foil and paper and gently ease a knife all around the edges of the pudding so that it turns out easily. Place a large plate upside down over the basin and turn the whole thing upside down. Remove the basin, and you should be left with a marvellous pudding just like the picture at the start of this page!

Serve hot, with English custard!

Pudding Index