Pineapple, lime & star anise steamed pudding

Photographer: Emma

I had never made steamed pudding before, until Sunday. Seeing as this month’s theme is winter warmers I figured it fitted perfectly. Furthermore, sitting on my shelves in the dining room I have the most beautiful ceramic pudding basin which dates back to 1911, and in which I thought I would make this delicious dessert. It was given to me by my beautiful 86 year old Grandma who bought it from an internet auction site a few years ago (yup – she’s pretty technologically saavy!) It is cream in colour and is decorated with beautiful green type spelling out a list of instructions on how to use the basin, as well as proudly bearing the name of the manufacturer; Grimwade. The name Grimwade you see, reaches back somewhere in the annals of time and forms part of my family tree. My Grandma eagerly browses auction sites in search of similarly branded pieces which she proudly displays on her shelves as part of our family history.

This recipe provides the basis for a delicious steamed pudding which once you have mastered you can experiment with to explore different flavour combinations. Use fruit which is in season, or otherwise canned and frozen fruit is a good substitute. Mandarins are in season at the moment so I’d like to experiment with a version using manadrins…..perhaps combined with lemon and chocolate. Or a pear and cardamom pudding with a caramel syrup – the possibilities are endless. If you do experiment then please report back your findings, we love to hear about your kitchen exploits!


1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp brown sugar
¼ pineapple, finely chopped
2 star anise

2 limes, zested and juiced
1 tsp ginger, freshly grated
1 star anise
½ cup dessert wine
150g brown sugar

Pudding batter
150g brown sugar
150g butter
2 eggs
300g flour
2 tsp baking powder
250ml milk


1. Grease and sugar a steamed pudding basin. Melt the butter and brown sugar together and then add the pineapple and star anise and cook until the pineapple is soft – around 15 minutes. Cool and then spoon this mixture into the bottom of the pudding basin.
2. Put the lime juice, ginger, stare anise, dessert wine and the brown sugar into a saucepan and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer gently until the liquid thickens and reduces to about ½ cup. Pour approximately a third of this mixture over the pineapple in the pudding basin.
3. Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time and beat until combined. Sift together the flour and baking powder and add bit-by-bit, alternating with the milk. Do not overmix.
4. Spoon the batter into the pudding basin and then cut a round of baking paper to fit tightly on top. Put the lid on the basin, or if you have no lid cover it with tin foil and tie with string.
5. Put in a large pot and fill with boiling water half way up the sides of the pudding basin. Bring to the boil and then lower the heat and simmer for 2 ½ hours or until a skewer comes out clean. Invert the pudding and pour over the remaining lime syrup and serve with cream or ice-cream.