Sticky Damson Pudding with Cinnamon Custard

Posher than plums, damsons work beautifully in Alex MacKay's sticky steamed pudding, served with a caramel cinnamon custard
By Alex Mackay
Sticky Damson Pudding with Cinnamon Custard
  • Rating:
  • Cook Time:
  • Prep Time: 12 minutes
  • Effort: medium


For the damson compote

  • 1 kg damsons
  • 200 g golden syrup

For the batter

  • 200 g soft unsalted butter
  • 200 g caster sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 eggs
  • 200 g self-raising flour
  • 2 tbsp grated ginger

For the cinnamon custard

  • 110 g caster sugar
  • 2 x 4 cm cinnamon sticks, broken up
  • 250 ml milk
  • 250 ml whipping cream
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 1 tbsp cornflour


1. In a large saucepan, combine the damsons with 150g of golden syrup. Over a low heat, stew the damsons for 30 minutes, or until they are soft, but still hold their shape.

2. Add a teaspoonful or so more syrup to taste. Leave to cool, remove the stones and set aside.

3. Generously butter an 850ml pudding basin. Pour in the remaining golden syrup, followed by half the damson mixture. Leave the rest of the damsons on one side.

4. For the batter, cream the butter with the sugar in a large bowl, using an electric whisk. Pour in the eggs and yolk, and mix well. Stir in the flour and ginger.

5. Spoon the pudding mixture over the stewed damsons in the basin. Cut a round of greaseproof paper - slightly larger than the size of the basin - and fold a pleat into the paper to allow the pudding to rise while steaming. Smooth the top of the pudding and cover with the paper.

6. Tie securely with string and put the pudding into a large pan of boiling water - the water should reach halfway up the sides of the basin. Cover the pan with a tight-fitting lid and simmer for 1.5 hours, replenishing with boiling water as needed.

7. To check the pudding is cooked, carefully untie the string and lift up the paper. Push a skewer into the centre of the sponge - it should come out dry. While the pudding is cooking, make the cinnamon cream.

8. For the cinnamon cream, sprinkle the caster sugar evenly over the bottom of a thick-based medium saucepan. Add the cinnamon sticks and set the heat to medium. Heat until the sugar melts and cooks into caramel.

9. Pour in the milk and cream, and bring to the boil. Take care while doing this as the caramel will splutter.

10. In a large bowl, beat the egg yolks with the cornflour. Slowly pour the hot milk onto the egg and cornflour mixture, whisking continuously. Once combined, return the mixture to the saucepan set over a medium heat.

11. Stir the custard, scraping your wooden spoon across the bottom of the pan, until it thickens slightly. Strain the custard through a sieve into a clean bowl.

12. Turn the pudding out of its mould and serve hot, accompanied by the cinnamon custard and the remaining stewed damsons.

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