Apple Hat

Apple Hat is a traditional, steamed, English pudding. Very filling and satisfying, it is good served as the dessert for a winter luncheon.

6 oz. self-raising flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 oz. suet, shredded cold water or milk

1 lb. cooking apples, peeled, cored and sliced

1 oz. brown sugar grated rind of

1 lemon

1 oz. raisins

1 oz. currants

Sift the flour and salt together into a medium-sized mixing bowl. Mix in the suet. Add enough cold water or milk to make a soft dough. Using your hands, knead the dough on a floured board until it is smooth and elastic.

Set one-quarter of the pastry aside for the topping. Take the rest of the pastry and, on a floured board, roll into a round large enough to line a one-pint pudding basin.

Very carefully line the pudding basin with the pastry. Fill it with layers of apple slices, brown sugar, lemon rind, raisins and currants. Add a scant tablespoon of water.

Roll the remaining pastry into a circle to fit the top of the basin. Trim and dampen the edges and lay the pastry on top, pressing the edges together. Cover the pudding basin with greaseproof or waxed paper and tie with string.

Place the pudding in a steamer or in a large pan rilled with enough water to come half way up the sides of the basin.

Bring the water to the boil. Lower the heat, cover the pan and steam the pudding for 3 hours, replenishing the water as it evaporates.

Remove the pudding basin from the steamer, take off the greaseproof paper and wait for a minute before turning the pudding out on to a warmed serving dish. Serve with hot custard sauce or cream.

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