“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.
“Whoops! I seem to have missed thanksgiving or halloween for this post. (Not that we really celebrate them here much) But who says pumpkin pie should only be served on those days? For this recipe I’ve combined the silky softness of the pumpkin custard with the spiciness of chai tea to make a slightly different version of this American classic. Like all good tarts, it’s slightly complicated and has several stages but the finished product is well worth the effort. Enjoy!”
(Photo by Gary Donald Corbett)
For the cinnamon pastry
300g plain flour
140g castor sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
For the spiced apples
3 granny smith apples
1 1/2 cups boiling water
2 tbsp chai tea
2 tbsn raw sugar
For the pumpkin filling
2 cups cream
2 tbsn chai tea
180g brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
For the cinnamon apples: In a cup pour the boiling water over the chai tea and sugar and leave to sit.
For the pumpkin custard: In a small saucepan bring the cream to a light simmer then add the chai tea. Allow this to sit and infuse while it cools down.
Cut the pumpkin into 2 cm square pieces and steam until soft. Set aside to cool. (If you’re in America you can buy pumpkin pie mix in a can. Shame on you!)
For the cinnamon pastry: In a food processor combine the butter sugar, flour and cinnamon. Pulse until the mixture resembles fine bread crumbs. Add the egg and process until pastry comes into a ball.
Tip out onto a piece of cling wrap and form into a disc. Place in refrigerator.
For the cinnamon apples: Peel the apples and cut each one into 16 wedges. Place apples in a small saucepan.
Drain the chai tea and add the tea leaves to the cream. (Every little bit of flavour helps)
Pour the chai tea mixture over the apples and bring to a simmer. Cook the apples until they’re soft but still holding their shape. Transfer the apples and liquid to a bowl and refrigerate, letting them cool in the remaining liquid.
For the cinnamon pastry: Remove the pastry from the fridge and on a well-floured surface, roll out until it’s about 5mm thick.
Carefully transfer this into a greased 30cm tart dish (I use the sort with the removable bottom), filling any gaps and neatening up the edges.
Transfer the tart dish to the freezer for 15 minutes.
For the pumpkin custard: Drain the infused cream of the tea leaves and put in a food processor. Add the cooled pumpkin, sugar, cinnamon, ginger and eggs and process until smooth.
For the cinnamon pastry: Remove the tart dish from the freezer and using a fork, prick the bottom of the pastry evenly (about 20 times).
Line the pastry with grease-proof paper and fill with baking beads or rice. Transfer to a 180 degree celsius oven and cook for 15 minutes. Remove the beads/rice and baking paper and cook for another 10 minutes. Lower the temperature to 150 degrees.
Remove the tart shell from the oven and let it cool slightly. Drain the apples of any remaining liquid and put a layer of 2/3 of the cooled apples into the bottom of the tart. (The remaining apples are reserved for serving)
Pour the pumpkin custard over the apples and transfer to the oven for 30-35 minutes. The cooked pie should be uniformly cooked but still a bit wobbly.
Allow to cool and serve with whipped cream and some of the remaining spiced apples and a sprinkle of icing sugar.
Hello, my name is Craig.
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!