When I was a child of ten or twelve years I developed a habit of getting up early on Sunday mornings to bake one of the recipes that had been published in the local newspaper. There was a weekend edition that carried a full colour magazine that contained a section of recipes. While Mom and Dad were still in bed I'd make my way down to the kitchen, magazine in hand, little sister trailing behind and start baking. There are two recipes I remember making from those faraway-days-- a marble spice cake and a raisin oatmeal pudding. Both recipes have vanished since that time but I remember the taste of both the cake and pudding very distinctly to this day.
The pudding in particular was a spicy mix of raisins and oats that formed a most delicious and moist steamed pudding. Over the years I've tried several recipes that call for oats and raisins but never found anything that came close to the memory of that distant pudding made early one Sunday morning.
Then, oh joy, I came across a pudding with the name of "Raisin Oatmeal Steamed Pudding" and very happily went to the kitchen and mixed up it up and eagerly awaited it's removal from the pudding dish. What a disappointment that pudding was! As dry and rubbery as an old boot. But the taste was there so I knew there was hope for this recipe. After some adjusting of the ingredients (and eating of some rather unacceptable pudding by family members) I finally produced a pudding worthy of that Sunday morning memory from childhood.
This is a great little pudding for people who don't want to go through the fuss of making a traditional Plum Pudding at Christmas time but would like to keep up appearances for the sake of custom and convention. The only fruit in this pudding is raisins so it's not an expensive dessert as a Plum Pudding would be. (I suppose you could use chopped dates for those raisin haters).
Serve the pudding warm with your favourite pudding sauce.
Raisin Oatmeal Steamed Pudding
1 cup of oatmeal
1½ cups of sour milk (Make sour milk by adding 1½ tablespoons vinegar or lemon juice to cup before measuring milk.)
2 cups of flour
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
½ teaspoon cloves
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ cup of butter
1 cup of brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon of baking soda dissolved in 1 tablespoon hot tap water
1 cup raisins
Prepare a 6-cup pudding mould, heat proof bowl or several 19-oz cans (or whatever size you would like to use) by greasing well and lining with parchment paper where possible. Have ready a large covered stock pot with a trivet filled with 3 or 4-inches of water.
In a medium bowl soak oatmeal in sour milk for ½ hour.
Mix flour, salt, nutmeg, cloves and cinnamon together and lay aside.
Beat butter and brown sugar together until creamed together. Add the egg and vanilla and beat until light and fluffy. Stir in the dissolved baking soda.
Add the flour mixture alternately with the milk and oatmeal to the creamed butter. Stir in the raisins.
Spoon pudding batter in a well greased heat-proof bowl, cans or pudding mold. Cover top with greased parchment or waxed paper. If using a pudding mold press on the cover and tie securely. If using a bowl, tie the paper down around the lip of the bowl. I find a heavy elastic band works as well or better than string. Take a large sheet of foil wrap and place the bowl in the middle. Bring the wrap up around the bowl covering the top loosely and secure by scrunching together. (If you have a proper pudding mould with a tight fitting cover you won't have to wrap it in foil.)
Place a trivet or 3 or 4 jar rings or jam jar covers in the bottom of a deep stock pot. Pour 3 or 4-inches of hot water in the pot and place the pudding on top of the trivet.
Bring the water to a boil and cover the pot. Lower the heat so the water is gently boiling. Steam the pudding 3 hours, checking occasionally to make sure the water has not evaporated. When the pudding has finished steaming remove the pot from the heat and let it and the pudding cool down enough to remove. This is so you won't scald your hands.
Let the pudding rest at least 15 minutes before serving. Slice and serve pudding with your favourite sauce. To reheat left-over pudding, resteam or microwave until warm through.
Sour milk can be easily made by adding vinegar or lemon juice to fresh milk. The milk should curdle in a few minutes. Combine the oats and milk together and let soak for 30 minutes.
Beat the brown sugar and butter together until creamy. Add the egg and vanilla and beat until fluffy. To this mixture add the dissolved baking soda.
To the creamed butter mixture alternately add the flour and oat mixtures. Begin and end with the flour making 3 additions of flour and 2 of milky oats. Stir in the raisins. Spoon the pudding batter into prepared moulds.
You may use a pudding mould, a heat proof bowl or cans.
It's hard to line a pudding mould with parchment paper but if you use cans, place a round piece in the bottom of each can as that will aid removal when pudding is cooked. Grease the cans or mould very well. Cover with parchment paper and then with foil.
The steaming pot is ready using canning rings for a trivet. Place the foil covered puddings in the pot and let them steam for 3 hours. Make sure you cover the pot.
Let the pudding sit at least 15 minutes before cutting into slices. Serve with your favourite pudding sauce sauce. I've used a Brown Sugar Sauce with this slice.
A enjoyable finish to your Christmas Dinner.