“For as long as I can remember Mum has made a sago plum pudding for our Christmas meal. I thought it was about time that she taught me how to make it! You may notice there doesn’t seem to be any plums in the recipe, but I assume the original version did. Sago is an ingredient made from the starchy centre of a tropical palm. In this recipe it acts as the binding agent in place of eggs. As there is no flour, the gluten comes from bread crumbs making the pudding incredibly moist! We’ve always eaten it with lashings of custard and whipped cream. Flaming the pudding is an optional but exciting addition, just make sure there is a fire extinguisher handy. Enjoy!”
4 tablespoons sago
1 1/2 cups milk
1 tablespoon soft butter
1 teaspoon bicarb soda
60g glacé cherries
60g chopped dried apricots
Put sago and milk in a saucepan over medium heat and cook while stirring for 10-15 minutes. The mixture will go quite gluey and the sago will plump up and become slightly translucent.
Stir in the butter, sugar and bicarb. Set aside to cool slightly
Mix together the remaining ingredients.
Add the sago mixture to the dry ingredients and mix together.
Butter a steamed pudding tin and place a round of baking paper at the bottom.
Transfer the pudding batter into the tin and smooth the top. Put on the lid.
Bring about 5cm of water to the boil in a large stock pot, then carefully place the steaming tin inside with the pot lid on. Simmer for 4 hours. You may need to top up the water level as it cooks. I check every 30 minutes.
Turn the pudding onto a serving plate.
To flame the pudding bring 1/4 cup of vodka, brandy or any other clear alcohol to the boil in a small saucepan. Carefully light the alcohol and pour over the pudding. (This is best done with the lights dimmed for best effect.)
Serve slices of the pudding with custard and whipped cream.
“I’ve decided I need to master gluten free baking! When I cater I always have to do some gluten free items and tend to fall back on things like a chocolate flan with hazelnut meal or an orange almond cake. I decided to try a gluten free lemon bar because I love the non GF version and it seemed to be easy to make using almond flour and corn flour. The result was delicious! You can also substitute lime or passionfruit juice or as I did, a combination of two juices. It also works brilliantly as a dessert with fresh berries and a dollop of thick cream. Enjoy!”
Ingredients for the base
200g almond meal
25g corn flour
75g white sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
100g cold butter
Method for the base
Preheat your oven to 180 C.
Line a 20cm square baking dish with baking paper making sure the paper comes all the way up each side. This makes it much easier to remove from the tin once it’s baked.
Cut your cold butter into 1cm squares and add to a food processor with the other ingredients.
Blitz the mix until its come together.
Press into your baking tray and smooth the top with a spoon.
Bake in the oven for 12-15 minutes or until the top is lightly browned.
Allow to cool for 15 minutes.
Ingredients for the custard
200g white sugar
100g lemon, lime or passionfruit juice (I used 50g lemon and 50g passionfruit)
20g corn flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
Method for the custard
Place all ingredients in a food processor and blitz until combined.
Pour over your cooled base.
Bake in a 180 C oven for 15-20 minutes or until the custard has just set.
Allow to cool on the bench then cover with cling wrap and let cool completely in the fridge.
Once cool, Cut into bars and serve sprinkled with icing sugar or serve as a dessert with fresh berries and thick cream.
“Who doesn’t like a spotted dick. (Insert giggling here). This traditional English steamed pudding is delicious on a cold night and very moorish. I’ve omitted the suet and added some sour cream and boozed-up the sultanas. You can use other dried fruit or nuts if you want and I’ve changed out the traditional custard for a French style Sabayon. Enjoy!”
Spotted dick ingredients
1 cup muscat
250g frozen butter
400g self-raising flour
1 teaspoon salt
150g white sugar
Zest of 1 lemon
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup milk
Place your sultanas and muscat in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer an cook for 15 minutes. Allow them to cool in the liquid.
Grate 250g of frozen butter into a bowl. Add 400g of self-raising flour and gently mix through with your fingers so the butter is coated in flour.
Add 1 teaspoon of salt, 150g of white sugar and the zest from 1 lemon and mix to combine.
Drain the sultanas and add to the mix. Keep the soaking liquid for the sabayon.
Whisk 6 eggs with 1/4 cup of sour cream and 1/4 cup milk. Add this to the dry ingredients and mix to combine.
Butter the inside of your steaming tin then put in 1 tablespoon of plain flour and shake so it coats the butter.
Transfer the batter to the tin and smooth the top.
Cut a piece of baking paper to fit over the batter and cut a few slits in the top. Smooth this over the batter and put the lid on the tin.
In a large pot place a small ramekin or heatproof bowl inside and pour in boiling water to just cover it.
Place the steaming tin inside on top of the ramekin and put a lid on the pot.
Bring your water to a simmer and let the pudding steam for 90 to 120 minutes. Every half hour check the water level and add more boiling water if necessary.
Carefully remove the steaming tin and test to see if the pudding is cooked by putting a knife or skewer in. If it doesn’t come out clean then put the tin back to steam for another 10 or 20 minutes. (In the size tin I have this took 2 hours)
3 eggs (or 6 yolks)
150ml muscat (from soaking sultanas)
120g white sugar
Mix all ingredients together until completely combined.
Transfer to a saucepan and continuously stir on medium heat until the sabayon has thickened.
Serve a slice of spotted dick with the sabayon and a dollop of thick cream. Enjoy!
Craig Allister Young is a cellist, orchestrator, arranger, singer and song-writer who works with the QLD Symphony Orchestra in Brisbane.
Over the past 20 years he has orchestrated music for most of the major orchestras in Australia, composed music for the Sydney 2000 Olympics,
toured a cabaret ensemble around QLD and for the past three years has been a musical director and cellist for the QLD ballet. His passion for cooking
saw him embark on his latest adventure as a top 24 contestant in the hugely popular TV sensation Australian Masterchef 2011. It is from this that the idea of
"Musical Menus" materialised as a way of combining his love for music with his passion for creating imaginative culinary dishes. Bon Appetite!