The greatest spotted dick and apple custard

Calvados adds a delicious apple flavour to spotted dick and custard in Paul Bloxham's sophisticated version of a traditional pudding
By Paul Bloxham
The greatest spotted dick and apple custard
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 6
  • Cook Time: 2.25 hours 15 minutes
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Effort: medium



  • 2 Bramley apples, peeled and diced
  • 175 g unsalted butter, oftened, plus extra for greasing
  • 175 g caster sugar
  • 1 lemon, finely grated zest, and juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1/2 orange, rated zest
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 200 g self-raising flour
  • 50 ml milk
  • 35 g sultanas, soaked in Calvados, drained and Calvados reserved
  • 40 g currants, soaked in Calvados, drained and Calvados reserved

For the custard:

  • 450 ml double cream
  • 300 ml milk
  • 1 vanilla pod, plit in half lengthways, seeds scraped out and reserved
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 4 tbsp calvados


1. Grease a 1.2 litre pudding basin with butter. Place the diced apple in the bottom of the basin and set aside.

2. In a mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.

3. Add the lemon and orange zest, followed by the lemon juice, and whisk in the beaten egg, a little at a time.

4. Sift over the flour and gently whisk the mixture together.

5. Add just enough milk for the mixture to drop easily from a spoon.

6. Fold in the Calvados-soaked sultanas and currants.

7. Spoon the mixture into the prepared pudding basin and firstly cover with a disc of greaseproof paper, then with a double piece of foil, tied under the rim of the basin with string.

8. To steam the pudding, place a small saucer into the base of a large pan. Place the basin onto the saucer and fill the pan with boiling water two-thirds up the side of the basin.

9. Cover and steam for 1 hour and 30 minutes to 2 hours. Continue to top up the water to the two-thirds mark, as the water will evaporate. Take care not let the water dry out.

10. Meanwhile, prepare the custard. Place the cream, milk and the vanilla pod seeds into a small, heavy-based saucepan. Place over the heat and bring to the boil.

11. In a bowl mix together the egg yolks and caster sugar until thoroughly mixed.

12. Remove the cream mix from the heat and slowly stir it into the egg mix and return the custard back into the saucepan over a gentle heat.

13. Stir the custard continuously without allowing the mixture to boil, until the mixture thickens and coats the back of a wooden spoon.

14. Stir in the Calvados.

15. Remove the spotted Dick from the pan containing the hot water and allow to cool slightly.

16. Tip out onto a plate, cut into portions and serve with the Calvados custard.

Rate This Recipe