Tuesday, 12 January 2016

Feeling Under Pressure

I thought I had a bargain when I picked up a replacement Pressure Cooker gasket for just 50p at a charity sale back in Leicester. But when we tried to fit it recently, we discovered I'd got one for a stainless steel PC and mine is aluminium [nb this picture is misleading - they are both the same diameter, just different thicknesses]
Oops! I got the correct one in the wonderful Thorns in Norwich after Christmas [brilliant shop - serving the public since 1835] and offered the other on a Facebook group I belong to. When I posted it off to my friend yesterday, I included my favourite PC ideas for her. I thought it was worth sharing them here.
 I use a Prestige HiDome PC, which I got for my birthday in 1974 when I was a student.That makes it nearly 42years old, and it has had just from 3 new rubber gaskets, it is still going strong. 

I've been throwing this pudding recipe together since 1981, when my friend Val lent me her copy of a "Sainsbury's Pressure Cooker Cookbook". The great thing about it is that you can start preparing it just before you begin boiling the potatoes & cooking the other parts of the main course- and 25 minutes or so later, you have a pud that tastes like it was simmering away for ages! It works equally well with fresh milk, reconstituted dried milk powder, evap & water, or a carton of UHT. After a couple of early disasters, I discovered it was essential to cover the surface of the liquid with a circle of greaseproof or silicon paper. [The pre-cut 'cake-tin liners' which Lakeland sell in packs of 100 are ideal for this – or you may find some cheaper in a £shop] If you do not do this, the pud may bubble up and seep alarmingly through the bottom of the weights!
knob of butter
2 pints milk
6oz pudding rice
2oz sugar
generous grating of fresh nutmeg
Melt the butter in the base of the pan. Add all the other ingredients, stir well. Bring to the boil. Turn heat right down. Cover surface with paper. Put lid on pan with all weights. The cooker should be hissing GENTLY! Leave to hiss away for about 12minutes, then turn off the heat. Leave pan alone till you are ready to serve pud. Carefully remove weights then lid [pressure will have gone down by now] Serve into warmed bowls with dollop of jam [optional] and gasps of delight from assembled company [obligatory].
As well as quick one-pot casseroles, I also use my PC for

·         Making chicken stock using the carcase from the Sunday lunch
·         Cooking dried beans and pulses ready to use in casseroles etc. Cheaper than buying canned
·         I use the pan – without the lid, for making Marmalade [a can of Mamade, sugar, water and the zest and juice of a lemon makes 6 jars of “St Clement’s Marmalade]
·         Also without the lid, I prepare banoffee pie filling in bulk – You can simmer THREE cans of condensed milk at a time and they will all turn to dulche-de-leche type sauce. And they will keep forever in the pantry – brilliant standby when you need emergency desserts. Put a face-flannel or folded tea-towel in the bottom of the pan, to stop the annoying rattling, and make sure the pan does not boil dry.
Do you use a pressure cooker?
Do you have a favourite recipe?
Do you use your PC in different ways?


  1. My mum uses the same model as yours, some of my favourite childhood meals were made in it. I keep thinking about buying one for myself, mainly to cook beans.

  2. So funny--I thought this was going to be a post about David Bowie ("Under Pressure" being a hit song of his)!

    I have a pressure cooker, but I only use it as a canner. I'm scared of pressure cooking. With my luck, everything would explode all over the kitchen ...


  3. I was brought up with mum and her 2 sisters arguing in the kitchen when we went to nana's house. nana had a pressure cooker - many a soup ended up on the ceiling - memories of that, and of the arguments resulted in me not having the guts to have a pressure cooker - not sure how safe I'd feel when using one on the Rayburn which has a mind of it's own anyway. Dxx

  4. Thanks so much for the tip about dulche de leche, I didn't know that you could make and keep it in the can ! Amazing !

  5. Hi!! Hope you are well. I confess, I've not seen one in action nor do I quite understand what they are and how they work! I'm not great at visualizing things I haven't seen!!x


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