How to Make Suet Pastry

These pastry making guides compliment our recipes section.

steak and kidney suet pastry pudding

Steak and Kidney Suet Pastry Pudding

Suet pastry is a good, old-fashioned British pastry used for steamed and boiled sweet and savoury puddings, roly-poly puddings and dumplings.

It’s stodgy, filling and full of calories – the ideal comfort food. It’s also an ideal food for replacing lost calories after a hard day’s digging on the vegetable plot. If you happen to be slimming, then just have a small portion.

You can use self-raising flour instead of plain and omit the baking powder. Vegetarian as opposed to beef suet can be obtained.

It’s easy to adjust quantities – the flour to suet ratio is 2:1 so 6 oz of flour needs 3 oz of suet. Don’t worry too much about reducing the baking powder.

Cooking Suet Puddings

Most old recipes using suet pastry suggest steaming or boiling for hours but nearly all of us have microwave now which reduces cooking times from hours to minutes.

When making a meat suet pastry pudding using cooked ingredient: line the bowl with pastry then add the hot ingredients and put the lid on. Place a plate over the top and 10 minutes or so at full power cooks the pastry to perfection

Suet Pastry Ingredients:

  • 8 oz (225 g) plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 4 oz (112 g) shredded suet
  • Water

Method for Suet Pastry:

  1. Sieve the flour, baking powder and salt together in a bowl.
  2. Add the shredded suet and mix well.
  3. Mix to a stiff dough with the water.
  4. Roll out and use at once for sweet and savoury roly-polys and boiled and steamed puddings.

What is Suet?

Suet is generally beef fat from around the kidneys and loins. It used to be available fresh from butchers but nowadays is most often bought pre-packed, grated and dried. This has the advantage of a long storing time but it does seem to deteriorate with age.

Vegetarian suet is available using plant derived oils and fats.

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