Earl of Sussex pudding

Serves 4-6

Over the past few years we have been using bergamot in the restaurants for cocktails; the actual bergamot orange is a fine fruit that is grown in southern Italy and is a member of the citrus family, but is more well known for flavouring Earl Grey tea than appearing in cocktails. To create this dish, I experimented with the fruit and substituted a lemon for a bergamot and incorporated it into one of my favourite puddings, the Sussex pond.

250g self-raising flour
125g shredded beef suet or vegetable suet
150ml milk
300g unsalted butter, softened
200g soft light brown sugar
1 lemon (or a bergamot if you can get hold of one)

Mix the flour and suet in a bowl. Mix into a dough with the milk. The dough should be firm enough to roll out into a circle large enough to line the pudding basin.

Cut a quarter out of the circle, so that you can make a cone shape with the dough to fit more easily in the pudding basin, and leaving you leftover dough for the lid. Put this slice of dough aside.

Butter a pudding basin well; drop the pastry into it, flattening it at the bottom, and joining up the edges where the slice was taken out.

Mix the sugar and butter together; put it into the lined basin. Prick the bergamot all over as much as you can with a roasting fork or skewer so that the juices can escape, then push it into the butter mixture.

Remould the pastry for the top and roll it out into a circle to fit the top of the pudding bowl. Lay it over the filling and press the edges of the dough together so that the filling is sealed in.

Take a piece of foil big enough to fit over the basin with an extra 5cm all round. Make a pleat down the middle of the foil, place over the top of the basin; tie in place with string like a parcel – with a string handle so it can be lifted in and out of a saucepan.

Put enough water in a pressure cooker to go halfway up the bowl, place the bowl in, bring to the boil, close the lid and cook for 1½hours. Lift out, remove the foil and loosen the sides with a knife. Put a deep dish over the basin and quickly turn upside down. The centre will collapse and the syrup will ooze out. Serve with thick clotted or Jersey cream.

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