Whether you’ve grown up and lived in one place all your life or you’ve moved around and collected recipes like souvenirs as I have, you are sure to have favorite regional recipes that evoke a place, perhaps even a time for you. Regional and family recipes connect us to our parents and grandparents and the towns we call home. In creating them anew for our children, wherever we choose to raise them, we pass on not only the recipes but our cherished memories, stories and traditions.
As a mother raising what are now known as Third Culture Kids or TCKs, I felt a great responsibility to make sure that our daughters learned about the culture and traditions of the countries we were living in. After all, one of the most valuable lessons we can take away from living in a foreign land is that our way of doing things is not the only way; it may not even be the best way. We learn and we grow as we expand our borders. I also considered it of grave importance to teach them about their own heritage and cultural roots from the sweet joys of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich to the reasons we value the democratic system and should always exercise our right to vote. This challenge was further expanded by our mixed origins. My husband is British, while I am American, which meant that when it came to passing on food traditions, I had to cover both.
Steamed sponge puddings are typically British so I didn’t grow up eating them or cooking them. In fact, the first steamed pudding I ever made, and still make to this day, is one we call Granda’s Dumpling. It’s a Christmas pudding full of mixed fruit that reminds me of a very moist fruitcake. My husband is in charge of the requisite brandy butter that must be served with it. It’s definitely one of our favorite regional recipes!
This rhubarb steamed sponge pudding is a much lighter springtime recipe, highlighting the gorgeous pink tart rhubarb that is available now, although you could also substitute whatever seasonal fruit you have on hand. I should point out for my non-British readers that this is actually cake, not pudding as some know it. Pudding is the British term for any dessert.
- ¾ cup or 95g flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2½ oz or 70g rhubarb
- ½ cup or 100g sugar
- 7 tablespoons or 100g butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
- 3 tablespoons golden syrup (See Note.)
- 1 teaspoon real vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs
- Grated zest 1 lemon
- ¼ cup or 57ml milk
- Grated zest and juice of 1 orange
- 12 oz or 340g rhubarb
- ⅛ cup or 25g sugar – or more to taste
- Good pinch salt
- In a small mixing bowl, sift together your flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
- Cut your rhubarb into lengths that will fit nicely in the bottom of a 1 liter or 4¼ cups pudding basin or metal mixing bowl.
- Butter the basin and then add the rhubarb, curved side down. Drizzle over the golden syrup.
- Beat the sugar and butter together until they turn light yellow and fluffy.
- Add in the eggs, one at a time, beating well between each addition.
- Beat in the lemon zest and vanilla.
- Sift in the flour mixture and add the milk. Fold them both in.
- Spoon the batter into your pudding basin.
- Cover the basin with parchment paper, folding it over in the middle to allow room for expansion, and secure it with kitchen string.
- Before you cut the ends of the string, tie them to create a handle with which to lift the basin and trim excess parchment.
- Put the covered basin in a large pot and pour hot water into the pot till it comes two-thirds of the way up the basin.
- Bring the water to a gentle boil then cover the pot and lower the flame to simmer.
- Simmer for 1½ hours.
- Once the steaming time is up, remove the basin from the pot.
- Leave to cool for five minutes, then run a knife around the edges of the sponge pudding.
- Turn out on a serving dish.
- Cut into wedges and serve with optional rhubarb sauce and pouring cream.
- If you are making the optional rhubarb sauce, you've got plenty of time while the pudding steams.
- Put all the sauce ingredients into a small pot.
- Cook for about 10 minutes, until the rhubarb has softened. Taste the sauce and add a little more sugar, if necessary.
- Cook till you reach a nice spoonable consistency, perhaps another 5 minutes.
Do you have favorite regional recipes that evoke home for you? Our Sunday Supper tastemakers have some delicious one to share with you today.
- Crispy Salmon Bites with Homemade Tartar Sauce by Pine Needles In My Salad
- Loaded Tex-Mex Chile con Queso by The Weekend Gourmet
- New England Style Stuffed Clams by Caroline’s Cooking
- Brandy Old Fashioned by Curious Cuisiniere
- Wine Pairing Recommendations For #SundaySupper Regional Specialties by ENOFYLZ Wine Blog
- Breakfast Empanada Casserole by Simply Healthy Family
- Pittsburgh Steak Salad by Seduction in the Kitchen
- Homemade Ranch Dressing by My Imperfect Kitchen
- Tupelo Honey Key Lime Vinaigrette by Family Around the Table
- Alabama White Barbecue Sauce by Cookin’ Mimi
- Delaware Crabs by Delaware Girl Eats
- JoJo Potatoes by A Mind Full Mom
- Long Beans with Coconut by Food Lust People Love
- Old Bay Cauli-Tots by Cupcakes & Kale Chips
- Southern Collard Greens by Magnolia Days
- Amish Chicken and Noodles by Palatable Pastime
- Boiled Lobster with Drawn Butter by Taste And See
- Bison Steaks with Cranberry Chimichurri by Tramplingrose
- California Beer Steamed Shrimp by Nosh My Way
- Avocado BLT Sandwich by Brunch-n-Bites
- Cali Inspired Fish Tacos by Sew You Think You Can Cook
- Cheesy Tex Mex Enchiladas by The TipToe Fairy
- Cola Marinated Steak Tips by Hardly a Goddess
- Corn and Bacon Chowder by Moore or Less Cooking
- Crab-Stuffed Artichokes with Spicy Aioli by Culinary Adventures with Camilla
- Deep Fried Pizza Roll by Grumpy’s Honeybunch
- Halal Cart-Style Chicken and Rice with White Sauce by The Texan New Yorker
- Copycat Hattie B’s Hot Chicken by Fantastical Sharing of Recipes
- Homemade Quebec Maple Baked Beans by She Loves Biscotti
- How to Make Vegetable Lumpia by Asian In America
- Italian Hot Dog by Simple and Savory
- Mom’s City Chicken by My Life Cookbook
- North Carolina BBQ with Cole Slaw and Hush Puppies by The Freshman Cook
- Philly Cheesesteak Calzones by Baking Sense
- Polish Boy Sandwich by Renee’s Kitchen Adventures
- Spicy Salmon for Tacos by Hey What’s for Dinner Mom?
- Tex-Mex Slowcooker Chicken and Beef Fajitas by Meal Planning Magic
- West Michigan Wet Burritos by Wholistic Woman
- Upside Down Angel Food Cupcakes by Cooking With Carlee
- Austrian Mohnnudeln (Poppy Seed Noodles) by The Bread She Bakes
- Butter Tarts – A Canadian Tradition by Red Cottage Chronicles
- Carob Cherry Crumb Bars by Pies and Plots
- Florida Key Lime Cream Pie by The Crumby Cupcake
- Fried Biscuits by Angels Home Sweet Homestead
- Gooey Butter Cake from Saint Louie! by Our Good Life
- Homemade Butterscotch Krimpets by The Redhead Baker
- San Jose Burnt Almond Cake by Eat, Drink and be Tracy
- Shoofly Pie by Cindy’s Recipes and Writings
- Spanish Bar Cake by Get the Good Stuff!
- Hoosier Sugar Cream Pie by That Skinny Chick Can Bake
Plus Rhubarb Steamed Pudding and Favorite Regional Recipes from Sunday Supper Movement
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