Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Steamed Cranberry Pudding with Butter-Orange Sauce

Today was the first cool and blustery day we've had since June. It poured buckets on and off all afternoon leaving me in a delightedly fall-ish mood. And you know what that means?

Cranberries. Finally!

This is one of the strangest but most delicious cranberry desserts I've ever made. The pudding is more like an English pudding, which is actually a very dense and moist cake. The spices are heavenly and the butter-orange sauce...I don't have the words. It's a perfect blend of sweet buttery creaminess on the tart spicy cranberries.

The weird thing about this pudding is how you cook it. Rather than being baked, you steam it (obviously), but I did not have the most ideal cookware to steam my pudding. The idea is to put the pudding pan inside of a large pot with simmering water, which will slowly and gently cook pudding. As you can see from the picture (bottom left), my husband and I had to make a few adjustments- we used my biggest pot with 3 of my husband's sockets to keep the pan out of the water. It worked like a charm. If you don't have a small wire rack, I'm sure you can create some similar jerry-rigged system to steam your pudding. It's totally worth it.

Steamed Cranberry Pudding with Creamy Butter-Orange Sauce
Recipe from the All American Dessert Book
Pictures by Kelly

2 1/4 cups fresh (or frozen, partially thawed) cranberries, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup sugar, divided
1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
1/3 cup orange juice
1/4 cup molasses
3 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
  1. Generously grease pudding mold, deep 8-9 inch cake pan or similar ring mold. Set out a deep pot or pan that is large enough to hold the mold. Place a wire rack (or some other method to keep the pan out of the water in the pot) in the pot bottom.
  2. In a medium bowl, stir together the cranberries, 3 tablespoons of the sugar. Set aside. In a large bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and salt. In a small bowl, stir together the orange zest, orange juice, molasses, and remaining 5 tablespoons sugar until the sugar dissolves. Add the molasses mixture and butter to the dry ingredients, stirring just until evenly incorporated. Add the cranberries and stir. 
  3. Spoon the batter into the baking pan and cover tightly with a lid or aluminum foil.
  4. Add 3/4 inch of hot water to the pot. Set the baking pan in the pot (but not touching the water), cover the pot, and bring the water to a simmer on medium-high heat. Lower the heat and simmer (checking occasionally to replenish the water) 1 1/2 to 2 hours, or until a wooden skewer inserted in the thickest part of the pudding comes out clean. 
  5. Transfer the pudding to a wire rack and let cool about 30 minutes. Serve with orange butter sauce.
2/3 cup sugar
2/3 cup heavy whipping cream
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into chunks
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
generous 1/4 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. In a heavy saucepan, stir together the sugar, cream, butter, corn syrup, and orange zest. Cook over medium heat, stirring, until the sugar completely dissolves and the butter melts. Bring to a boil and boil gently, stirring occasionally, for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat. Stir in the vanilla.

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