Steaming is a classic method of cooking that uses the moist heat of steam to cook the food. The heat comes from boiling water vaporising into steam, that’s then trapped within a steamer or saucepan. People have been steaming Christmas puddings since steaming first became a thing. We use it in our Cherry Bakewell Pudding recipe too, and it’s a super easy technique once you get the hang of it.
You don’t need any specialist equipment either. If you’ve got a pudding bowl and a decent sized saucepan with a lid, you’re good to go. But if steaming is your thing, you can invest in a steamer – it has holes in the bottom and fits over the pan with the water steaming in the pan below. There are electric steamers too.
Let’s look at how to steam using the traditional method.
To effectively steam a pudding you’ll need:
- Heatproof bowl
- Aluminium foil
- Greaseproof paper
- Saucepan with a lid
Ready to get steaming? Here’s what you need to do for properly steamed pudding:
- Put your pudding mixture into your greased pudding bowl and press down on the mixture to create an even surface.
- Take your aluminium foil and greaseproof paper (use large sheets for both and make sure they’re around the same size). Make a pleat by folding a crease in the centre of both the foil and paper.
- Turn the foil and paper over so the foil is on top. Then press it around the bowl, keeping the fold on top.
- Tie everything lightly around the bowl with your string.
- Trim away any excess, leaving about 10cm of foil and paper around the bowl so it stays in place.
- Keep the paper tucked in and the foil around it so it stays watertight.
- Thread a double length of string through the string on the bowl. Pull it through the other side and secure. Now you have your handle.
- Place the bowl into the pan and reduce to simmer and cover with the lid.
- Steam in line with your chosen recipe.
When you steam puddings in a saucepan, the water needs to be half way up the side of the bowl to fully steam your pudding. If it isn’t it won’t steam properly – you’ll need to check during steaming and add more water if necessary. The advantage of using a steamer which fits over the pan is that you can put more water in the saucepan below and you won’t need to keep checking it as frequently.
Once you’ve steamed and cooled your pudding, keep it in the same bowl and replace the foil with a freshly buttered piece. This will keep it moist. Then store it in a cool, dark place until you’re ready to enjoy it. You can also store a steamed pudding in the fridge too.
Once you’re ready to reheat, you can steam it again for around 45 minutes. Or you can heat it in the oven for an hour at 150°C or blast it in the microwave for 15 minutes on medium. When microwaving your steamed pudding, remove the foil and wrap it in clingfilm with a couple of pricks in the top.
So, now you know how to make steamed pudding you’ll be treating your guests at Christmas and whipping up some delights whenever you fancy – Lava Cakes anyone?
We’ve got plenty more hints and tips for your at-home baking at Dr. Oetker, including how to measure your baking ingredients accurately, how to melt chocolate and more.