Friday, 14 October 2011

Lulavs And Etrogs!

Bob’s Harvest Assembly at our Village School on Thursday was all about Sukkot [ the Jewish Harvest Festival/Festival of Tabernacles] So he needed various props – an etrog [rather like a large lemon – so he used a large lemon] a palm branch [part of that tree again!] some willow [thanks Jan] and some sprigs of myrtle [thanks Joyce, from The Flower Guild, for tracking them down for us] The lulav is the bundle of these three tree branches which is waved as part of the thanksgiving ritual. Find full details of the Sukkot rituals here.

lulav etrog

“While the Sukkah hut gives the Sukkot holiday its name, this festival has two other main symbols: the lulav and etrog.

A lulav is a slender palm branch that is held together with two myrtle branches and three willow branches. An etrog is a citron that looks mostly like a misshapen lemon but smells like heaven. The branches and fruit are waved each day of Sukkot, except on Shabbat, in a specific manner, for a variety of reasons.”

So there was a large lemon in the kitchen – “You can have that!” said Bob “I’ve finished with it now” So I decided to make Sussex Pond Pudding. Mainly because I never have, and I have always wanted to. Bob does not like lemon meringue, and I had assumed he would therefore not like SPP either – but I decided to make it anyway.

sussex pond pudding

This is a picture from the internet – I forgot to photograph ours before we tucked into it with indecent greedy haste! But mine did look very like this one, a pudding standing proudly in its beautiful pond of golden sauce.

The recipe I used was from the Atora website – and I did the microwave version for speed [next time I may steam it in the traditional way] and I just used the one lemon – I did not add the optional dried fruit as the recipe suggested.

Old Fashioned Sussex Pond Pudding [serves 4-6]

  • 100 g (4 oz) Atora Suet
  • 225 g (8 oz) Self Raising Flour
  • 150 ml (¼ pt) cold water, approximately
  • 100 g (4 oz) unsalted butter, diced
  • 100 g (4 oz) caster sugar
  • 1 large thin skinned lemon

1 - Lightly grease and line the base of 1.2 litre (2 pint) pudding basin. In a mixing bowl stir together the flour, Atora Suet and enough water to make a soft, but not sticky dough.

2 - Roll out two thirds of the dough on to a lightly floured surface to 5 mm thick (¼ inch). Line the basin with the dough making sure any splits are sealed well.**

3  - Put half the butter and sugar into the centre of the basin. Prick the lemon well with a skewer and place in the middle, and then surround with the remaining butter and sugar.

4 - Brush the top edges with a little water and roll out the remaining dough into a round shape the same size as the basin. Cover the pudding with the dough and press down well to seal the edges.

5 - Cover with greased greaseproof paper and cook in microwave oven on two third maximum (medium/high) 700 watt for 7-8 minutes or until well risen and just firm to the touch. Leave the pudding to stand for 2-3 minutes before turning out onto a warm dish.

6 - Serve immediately with yogurt, custard or cream.

Variation  - If liked, sprinkle 175 g (6 oz) dried fruit around the lemon to give a more solid filling. If time is on your side, steam pudding for 1½ - 2 hrs, making sure pan does not boil dry.

Bob suggested that next time [!] I zest the lemon and mix it into the pastry, and instead of regular dried fruit, I add chopped dried apricots. This sounds good to me. I also like the idea of making individual puddings. But SPP is winter-warming comfort food, high carb/high calorie, so I won’t be making any more just yet!

HFD** HINT – at step 2, roll out all the dough to a circle ¼” thick, then cut out a segment which is one third of the circle. Lift the larger piece into the bowl to line it, joining and sealing the seam carefully, then re-roll the remaining dough to make the circular lid. This keeps the pastry crust at a more uniform thickness. I read this years ago in an article by Mary Berry in Home and Freezer Digest. That was a good little magazine!


  1. I am going to pack some Atora vegetable suet to bring home!!!
    Subsitute the butter for vegan marg,and I'll have a "stick your ribs together" pudding for those cold Ontario days!
    Jane x

  2. Sounds lovely but (fortunately perhaps) I can't stand suet in any form! I also can't stand donuts (again fortunately!) LOL!
    BUT, I do love a good sponge pudding and thick creamy custard!

    Have a great weekend,

    Sandie xx

  3. I used to love reading Home and Freezer Digest. I think I have a couple of copies somewhere still. They used to print a four hour cook-in so that at the end of four hours you had a great mound of stuff to go in the freezer and they gave the correct order to do things in so you wasted as little time as possible. Brilliant idea. And tea breaks were built in too : ) I wonder where I put those copies...

  4. Do you have any other home ad freezer digest books. I'm looking for a recipe I've lost. It was for blackberry velvet pie. Alice

  5. everywhere i look on internet at the home and freezer digest -everyone wants the blackberry velvet pie! Must go home and look in the boxes of old recpie books(200!) for this littlñe gem...


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