Spotted Dick with Brandied Currants

spotted dick pudding
Photo: Mike Krautter

Whether you call it spotted dick, spotted dog, or spotted Richard, this steamed currant pudding is one of the most beloved British desserts. Martha plumps the "spots" of dried fruit with brandy for an extra pop of flavor.


Creme Anglaise

  • 1 ¼ cups whole milk

  • ¾ cup heavy cream

  • ½ vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped

  • 4 large egg yolks

  • 3 tablespoons sugar

  • Pinch of kosher salt


  • 1 cup dried currants

  • ½ cup brandy

  • 1 ½ sticks (¾ cup) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces, plus more room-temperature butter for bowl and parchment

  • 2 ¼ cups unbleached all-purpose flour

  • 1 tablespoon baking powder

  • ½ cup sugar

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 4 large eggs, lightly beaten

  • cup heavy cream

  • Grated zest of 1 lemon, plus 1 tablespoon fresh juice


  1. Creme Anglaise:

    In a medium saucepan, bring milk, cream, and vanilla seeds and pod to a simmer over medium heat.

  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together egg yolks, sugar, and salt. While whisking, slowly add about half the hot milk mixture to temper, then return to saucepan with remaining milk mixture. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture is thick enough to coat the back of the spoon, 6 to 8 minutes. Strain through a fine sieve into a bowl, pressing with a flexible spatula to extract as much liquid as possible; discard solids. Cover and refrigerate until chilled, at least 2 hours and up to 2 days.

  3. Pudding:

    In a small saucepan, heat currants and brandy until warm; let stand at room temperature until most of the brandy has been absorbed, 30 to 45 minutes. Meanwhile, set a round wire rack in bottom of a large stockpot. Set a 2 1/2-quart ovenproof bowl on rack. Fill pot with enough water to come about three-quarters of the way up sides of bowl. Remove bowl; dry, butter inside, and set aside. Cover pot and bring to a boil.

  4. Butter a 10-inch parchment round; set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt. Using a pastry blender or your fingers, cut in cold butter until pieces are no larger than small peas. Stir in eggs, cream, lemon zest and juice, and currant-brandy mixture until combined.

  5. Transfer batter to prepared bowl. Place parchment round, buttered-side down, over bowl and top with foil to seal. Fold a long piece of foil into thirds and center bowl on foil. Pull ends of foil to top edge of bowl and carefully lower pudding into boiling water. Fold ends of foil down into pot and cover pot. Return to a boil, then reduce to a simmer; steam until an instant-read thermometer inserted into center of pudding registers 180 degrees, about 1 hour 15 minutes, occasionally adding boiling water to maintain level, if necessary.

  6. Using foil sling, transfer pudding to a wire rack. Let cool 10 minutes. Run a knife around edge of bowl to loosen; invert pudding onto a serving plate. Serve warm with creme anglaise.

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