The first section of this vintage copy of the Atora Suet Recipe Book from the 1950s is for Dumplings Sweet & Savoury. Below I’ve transcribed the introduction to the section and then listed the recipes and ingredients after that. These recipes are printed on pages 6 to 10 in the book.
I have omitted the cooking instructions and the pressure cooker times, else I’d have ended up typing up the entire booklet!
Today would’ve been mum’s 92nd birthday, so it’s strangely sentimental that I should be typing up dumplings recipes as this was one of my favourite meals that mum used to make. She used a pressure cooker to cook the stew (typically beef, potato and carrots), before removing the lid and boiling the dumplings in the open pressure cooker.
Dumplings, Sweet & Savoury.
Cooked in a few minutes only
With “ATORA” a number of dumplings can be prepared and cooked in a few minutes along with other food and without using extra fuel or heat. They are light and digestible, and are delicious with soups, stews, gravies, stewed rabbit, steak and kidney, boiled beef, etc and will make a small quantity of meat into a complete and nourishing meal. In addition, they can be served as a sweet with syrup, jam, etc.
Children are especially fond of dumplings, and most people, young or old, appreciate them, particularly in cold weather.
As soon as the dumpling mixture is moistened, form into balls and drop into stew or boiling liquid. Never keep uncooked dumplings standing.
With a pressure cooker, you can cook them under pressure in the ordinary way, following the directions given with the individual recipes. Or you can treat the pressure cooker as an ordinary saucepan; that is after cooking the stew for about 20 minutes at 15 lbs pressure allow the pressure to drop, put in dumplings and cook without bringing to pressure.
Whichever method of cooking you choose, your “ATORA” dumplings are ready to serve within a matter of minutes.
- 4ozs flour (with plain flour use ¾ level teaspoon baking powder), 2 ozs “ATORA”, Good pinch salt. Water to mix.
Savoury Variations for “ATORA” Dumplings
- Bacon. Add 2 rashers of lightly fried and finely chopped bacon to “ATORA” Dumplings. Delicious with boiled rabbit or bacon.
- Doughboys. Use recipe for “ATORA” Dumplings, but cook in boiling salted water. Drain well and serve with boiled or baked meat.
- Mixed Herbs. Add 1 teaspoon dried herbs or 2 teaspoons freshly chopped mixed herbs to ingredients in “ATORA” Dumpling recipe.
- Liver. Fry 1 small onion until soft, add this, together with 2ozs finely chopped raw liver to ingredients in “ATORA” Dumpling recipe.
- Parsley. Use “ATORA” Dumpling recipe, but add a tablespoon finely chopped parsley. Make into smaller balls than usual and cook for 10 minutes only. Delicious with boiled chicken, rabbit or ham.
- Sausage Meat. Use recipe for “ATORA” Dumplings, but add 4ozs sausage meat before putting in moisture. Form into balls and cook in simmering stock or soup for 23 minutes. These dumplings turn soup into a complete meal.
- 2ozs “ATORA”, 4ozs flour, 4ozs finely chopped onions, Salt and pepper. Milk or water to mix.
Sweet Variations for “ATORA” Dumplings
- Doughboys (sweet). Use same recipe as “ATORA” Dumplings and cook in boiling salted wter for 15 minutes.
- Date and Rhubarb. Use same recipe as “ATORA” Dumplings, but add 2 ozs chopped dates and a desertspoon sugar.
- Lemon Dumplings. As recipe for “ATORA” dumplings, but add 2ozs candied lemon peel and a little freshly grated lemon rind. Serve with lemon sauce.
- Fruit Dumplings. Use same recipe as “ATORA” Dumplings, but add approximately 2 ozs dried fruit. Serve with lemon, sweet white, or custard sauce.
- 4 medium sized cooking apples. Little sugar. 4 cloves (if desired). For the pastry – 8ozs flour (with plain flour use ¾ level teaspoon baking powder), 3-4 ozs “ATORA”, ½ teaspoon salt. Water to mix.
Baked Apple Dumplings.
- Prepare as for Boiled Apple Dumplings above, but instead of covering with paper or cloths, place the dumplings in a greased tin and bake in a moderate oven for 30-40 minutes. Use 375-400°F or Mark 3.
Toffee Apple Dumplings.
- Fill centre of apples with brown sugar, and dust the dumplings with brown sugar before baking. If desired, you can baste with a syrup made of brown sugar and water.
- Prepare as for Baked Apple Dumplings, but use 4 medium sized desert pears (with little lemon to flavour).
Baked Dumplings (very simple and most delicious).
- 4ozs flour (with plain flour add ¾ level teaspoon baking powder). 2 ozs “ATORA”. 1½ teaspoons sugar. 1 egg (optional). Little milk to mix.
Many users of this book will prefer to cook steamed puddings in individual containers – either small moulds (castle pudding or dariole moulds) tiny basins, or even cups can be used.
This will shorten the cooking time in all recipes, for example, if the pudding mixture is to be divided into 8 dariole moulds then allow about one-sixth cooking time, i.e. 20 minutes instead of 2 hours.
If dividing into four small basins or cups allow one-quarter cooking time, i.e. 30 minutes instead of 2 hours. (There is an exception in the case of Cup Steak Puddings, which take longer than this. See recipe on page 36).
Users of pressure cookers will like to know that many of the recipes in this book can be carried out in their pressure pans, and where suitable we give times, etc, under each recipe.
You may, however, have favourite suet pudding recipes of your own, and wish to try them, in which case there is a definite formula of timing in a pressure cooker.
- If the pudding takes 3 hours to steam by the ordinary method, it will take one-third of that time in a pressure cooker, i.e. 1 hour. It is, however, necessary to steam the pudding in the cooker for the first quarter of the time (15 minutes) without using any pressure – so enabling the pudding to rise. After this, use the pressure control to bring to pressure and continue for the final 45 minutes. Where the pressure cooking time is less than an hour, as often happens – for example 40 minutes – then, to be sure that the pudding has adequately risen it is still advisable to give 15 minutes steaming without pressure and the rest of the time at the required pressure.
- Make sure that you have 1½-2 pints BOILING water in cooker before pudding goes in. Stand the basin on the rack in the cooker.
- Use 5 lbs pressure, rather than 15 lbs, as this gives a lighter result.
- When cooking a pudding in a basin, never put the cold tap to reduce pressure as there is a danger of cracking the basin and spoiling the pudding. Allow pressure to drop gradually.
NOTE. When steaming puddings or using pressure cooker, you will prevent aluminium containers becoming a bad colour if you add a tablespoon vinegar to the boiling water.