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How To Steam A Pudding In A Saucepan

Published by: Chef Matty Riedel • Updated: January 23, 2024

A classic dessert perfect for Christmas or chilly winter days, puddings are usually made by steaming, which you may think is quite an odd method to cook a pudding. Steaming, however, is the perfect way to keep the dish light and moist.

Typically, associated with a sweet dish, puddings can be savory too such as a kidney and steak pudding, black pudding, cheese pudding, etc., which are also made by steaming them.

And, if you want to make a pudding in an old-fashioned way, in this article, we’ll discuss step-by-step how to steam a pudding in a saucepan.

What You Need

You’ll need the following equipment to make a great steamed pudding:

  • A pudding mould or basin
  • A large saucepan with a lid
  • A sheet of aluminum foil
  • A piece of greaseproof baking paper large enough to cover the rim of the pudding mould
  • Kitchen string or twine
  • A trivet stand, saucer or anything else that will help to keep the pudding basin off the saucepan base

How To Steam A Pudding In A Saucepan: Steps 

In this section, we’ll discuss step-by-step how to steam a pudding in a saucepan. Remember, depending on the size, Christmas pudding takes around 2 to 5 hours to cook, while a sponge pudding will take a lot less time, around 2 hours to cook. So, the key to steaming pudding is patience.

Fill The Pudding Mould

First, grease your pudding mould or basin with a pat of butter. Give the mould a light coat of butter so that once it is steamed and ready, the pudding does not stick inside it. This way, when you turn out the mould, the steamed pudding will come out easily without getting stuck.

Next, pour the pudding mixture into the greased mould. There are a wide variety of puddings you can make, Christmas pudding, cranberry pudding, chocolate pudding, fruit and nut pudding and more. Once you pour in the mixture, pack it down flat with a spoon.

Make sure to leave around 1-inch space at the top so that the pudding can rise as it steams. Take the greaseproof baking paper and cut out a square that is slightly larger than the pudding mould.

Next, cut a square of the tinfoil, which is around 1-2 inches larger than the baking paper square. Make sure the baking paper is large enough to cover the top of the mould with some extra hanging over the sides.

Place the baking paper on top of the aluminum foil and make a crease by folding both sheets in half. To secure the fold, press it down and then unfold the squares. As the pudding heats up and rises, the crease at the center of the squares will expand.

Place the baking paper under the aluminum foil square and place both of them on the top of the mould, such that the aluminum foil faces upwards. Then, press down the edges. Wrap a piece of twine or string under the lip of the pudding mould and tie it into a tight knot to keep the baking paper and aluminum foil in place.

Make sure to use the twine to tie the baking paper and aluminum foil; otherwise, when steaming the pudding, the steam will force the air and water upwards, which may cause the covering to come loose.

Steam The Pudding

Make sure that the saucepan you pick to steam your pudding is larger than the steamer basket. Fill the saucepan with sufficient water so that the bottom is covered. Make sure that you don’t overfill the saucepan and that the water does not touch the bottom of the pudding mould or you will have boiled instead of the steamed pudding.

Place the steamer basket into the saucepan and place the saucepan on the stovetop. Turn on the stove to medium heat and let the water heat up until it simmers or small bubbles start to rise to the water’s surface. Avoid boiling the water as this will cause it to evaporate very quickly.

Place the mould with the pudding mixture slowly into the saucepan. Make sure that the bottom of the mould doesn’t touch the water. Cover the saucepan with the lid and set a timer for around 1-2 hours or for the time recommended by the pudding recipe.

Most recipes require the pudding to be steamed for around 1.5-2 hours, whereas others may require even up to 5-6 hours. Once every 20 minutes or so, make sure to check the level of water in the saucepan.

If the water dries out, then add more water to ensure that the pudding keeps steaming, because if the water dries out completely, the pudding can get burned.

Remove From The Mould

Once the pudding has steamed for the time as recommended by the recipe, remove the pudding mould carefully from the saucepan. Set the mould on a flat surface, then cut the string and open the pudding.

To test if the pudding has cooked properly, pierce the center of the pudding with a toothpick. If the toothpick comes out clean, it means that the pudding is cooked properly. If the toothpick has some pudding stuck to it, then it means that you have to cook the pudding for a little more time.

To remove the pudding from the mould, unstick the edges from the mould gently with a knife and turn it out. Take a plate and place it on the mould. Grab the edges of the plate and turn the mould upside down on the plate quickly.

The pudding should slide out easily from the mould onto the plate and stand on its own. You can then pour some custard, cream or hard sauce on the still-warm pudding, slice it up and serve.

If you have any pudding leftover, you can cover it with foil or plastic wrap. You can then heat it up by steaming it for two hours or heat it up in a microwave or oven before serving the next time.

Also check out our Classic Christmas Plum Pudding Recipe.
And this; 7 Best Self Saucing Puddings For Winter

Wrapping Up

So, now that you have the step-by-step instructions on how to steam a pudding in a saucepan, soon you’ll be whipping up delicious puddings like a professional and wowing your family and friends.

Chef and Restaurant Owner Matty Riedel
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