black peppercorn and orange steamed pudding

black peppercorn orange steamed pudding

I watch a lot of British television shows and it's pretty common for me to have my television, set to the local PBS UK station or the BBCA. I sometimes even leave the television on when I'm working on my blog, that is also how I first discovered Downton Abbey a few years back, one Sunday night while watching the PBS Masterpiece Theater series. The fact that the show is a period piece makes it particularly fascinating since I am a big history buff plus the Dowager Countess, Lady Violet with her witty barbs makes the show even more entertaining. 

I am very fond of steamed English puddings so I thought why not make something special to commemorate the start of the new season and dedicate it to one of my favorite characters on the show. Just like Lady Violet, this steamed pudding is bursting with fresh orange flavor and yet has an unexpected but pleasantly surprising hint of heat from the black pepper. There's a generous dash of honey that serves as a sweet sauce for each warm pudding without making the pudding too saucy or very sweet. I think these individual size puddings are going to fit right in for the the little viewing party, I'm hosting for a few of my friends.

I don't own a pudding basin and if you don't have one either, don't worry, I have an easy solution for you. This is the perfect way to use one of your extra unused canning jars from your pantry. I selected the 4-4.5 oz jars that I use to store jams and preserves and they work really well. I've also listed out special instructions in the recipe, on how to work with both the Weck and Ball brands of jars. (The photograph below shows how I fixed the lids for steaming).

black pepper corn and orange steamed pudding jars

To share the excitement, Carrie of Bakeaholic Mama is hosting a fun giveaway with a bunch of amazing bloggers. The extremely popular Unofficial Downton Abbey Cookbook and coffee mug are all up for grabs starting today! To participate and enter, simply follow the instructions on the Rafflecopter widget at the end of this post. Good luck and have fun!

black peppercorn and orange steamed pudding

yields: 8 individual puddings

special equipment: 8 X 4.5 oz Weck canning jars/ 8 X 4 oz Ball Mason jars


1/2 cup (1 stick / 4 ounces) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature + extra unsalted butter for greasing jars
1 1/4 cups (8 ounces) all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup (8 ounces) sugar
2 tablespoons honey + 8 (generous) teaspoons honey
4 large eggs
1 tablespoon orange zest, fresh + a little extra for garnish
1/2 teaspoon black peppercorn, freshly ground

1. On a sheet of parchment paper draw and cut out circles that will fit the inside bottom of the canning jars. Grease the inside of each jar with the extra unsalted butter. Place one of the parchment paper circles at the bottom of each jar. Keep the jars aside until ready to fill with the pudding batter.
2. Sift the flour and baking powder three times and keep aside. 
3. Place the stick of butter, sugar, and 2 tablespoons of honey in the mixing bowl of a stand mixer. Using the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar at medium low speed for 5 minutes until completely smooth. 
4. Beat in one egg at a time, until completely blended. 
5. After all the eggs are mixed in, add the orange zest and the black peppercorn and mix on medium-low speed for 20 seconds.
6. Add the sifted flour to the batter and mix at medium-low speed for about 1 minute or until completely mixed and no flecks of flour can be observed.
7. Place one teaspoon of honey in each jar. Then using a tablespoon, scoop out the batter into each jar and fill them up to 1/4 the height of the jar.  Smooth the surface of the batter in each jar with the back of the spoon. 
For Weck Jars:  Place the glass lid on top of the mouth of the jar and firmly with the clips. You do not need to use the rubber seals, only the metal clips.
For Ball Jars: If you are using the Ball jars, then place a precut square of aluminum foil over the mouth of each jar and then lightly tighten the foil using the appropriately sized bands. Make a tiny hole with a skewer in the center of the aluminum sheet of each jar. 
8. Place the jars in a large stockpot that has a lid. Fill the stockpot with enough water to come up halfway up the side of the jars. Place the lid on the stockpot and steam for 1 hour and 30 minutes or until the puddings have risen completely and look spongy from outside and the pudding should not move when the jar is tilted slightly. To ensure that the puddings are completely cooked, remove one jar and open the lid. The pudding will have risen and the center should be firm and spongy to touch or a skewer when inserted should come out clean through the center of the pudding. If they are not cooked then seal as before and return the puddings to the stockpot and cook until done. 
9. To serve, open the lid of the hot cooked pudding. Run the flat end of a butter knife around the edges of the pudding carefully. Place a serving plate on the top of the mouth of the jar and then flip the jar. The pudding will be released on to the plate.  Peel the parchment paper off the top of the pudding and discard. Before serving, I like to serve this warm pudding garnished with a little extra fresh orange zest. 

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Disclaimer: This post is in no way sponsored by the Official Downton Abbey/ Weck Jars/ Ball Jars.