My mother-in-law, and late father-in-law often checked out my blog. It was their way of keeping an eye on our antics and our occasional travels around Scotland. Neither of them are that fussed about eating vegetables or interested in foodie trends like pasta, pizza or polenta. Like many people of there generation, they are very old fashioned in their eating habits. The dinner plate has to consist of meat and two vegetables. But saying that, since travelling overseas and sampling different 'ethnic' cuisines, my father-in-law had become a lot more adventurous in his eating, enjoying Greek spanakopita and Turkish pizza Lamucan. Anyway, when they saw these savoury leek puddings on my blog early this year, they were both on the telephone telling us how good they looked: traditional and hearty. In fact, my mother-in-law said something that sounded to my ears 'we are drooling over your vegetarian suet puddings'. This secretly pleased me - a vegetable based dish of mine they liked the look of. Success.
Well the time has come, to start making these savoury puddings again. Its rich in flavour, filling , warming and Perfect for wintery days. These puddings are made with vegetarian suet. The brand I used is suitable for vegans too.
Mushroom and Leek Savoury PuddingsYou will need 5 -6 mini pudding basins with lids*
Serves 5 - 6
For the Suet Pudding300g self-raising flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
Salt and pepper to taste
100g vegetarian suet (make sure it is suitable for vegans too, as not all are)
For the filling2 large leeks, sliced
250- 300g chestnut mushrooms, sliced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon vegetable bouillon powder
1 teaspoon dried thyme
Salt and pepper to taste
MethodFor the fillingHeat the olive oil, add the leeks and sweat on a low heat for about 20 minutes, until soft. Then add the mushrooms and vegetable bouillon powder and cook for a further 10 minutes, when they have softened. Season well and turn of the heat.
For the suet puddingMix all the dry ingredients and the herbs in a large bowl. Mix in enough cold water to make a firm dough. Divide the dough into 5, roll the pastry out on a well-floured work surface, to about 3mm thick circles that are big enough to fill the pudding basin with a small overhand. Line the pudding bowls with the pastry, gently easing it round the sides for a snug fit. Divide the filling between the pudding basins. The filling should be 1cm below the rim. Take each pudding in turn and with a sharp knife trim off the excess pastry level with the rim. Re-roll this excess pastry and cut out 5 circles big enough to cover the tops. Place the pastry tops on top of the filling and press the edges together to make a firm seal. Trim off any excess. *My pudding basins have lids, but if yours do not, cover with foil and tie with a jute string. Then place the puddings into a large steamer. Cover with the lid and steam for for 30 - 40 minutes, or until the pastry is cooked. Leave to cool for a few minutes and then ease a small knife around each pudding and turn them out.