Puddings are basically made from a combination of flour and other ingredients, and can be either sweet or meat-based. The sweet variety were often folded into a floured cloth and steamed over the cooking pot in which were the meat and vegetables being prepared at the same time. Our cleaner in the 1950s always remembered her mother's puddings made this way as being the best she ever tasted. Steamed sponge puddings are a staple dessert in England, particularly in pubs.
By extension the term has become attached to other forms of sweet foods as the course offered following the main course, and given the alternative name of "dessert".
Yorkshire pudding is a batter cooked at very high heat in fat, and originally served before the meat, with the gravy poured over it. The intention was to reduce the appetite so that the meat went further. It should never incorporate the meat [apart from Toad-in-the-Hole - sausages cooked in batter]. It can be served as a sweet with hot jam poured over, of [as in the French dish of Clafoutis] can be cooked with fruit included, in which case it is served tepid rather than hot.
Apple pudding would characteristically have a layer of apple covered with a cake topping or a suet pastry. Any other pastry would be a pie.
One of the best puddings is Summer pudding - a medley of soft fruit encased in thin slices of white bread, soused with the fruit juice and left under pressure for twentyfour hours.
Pudding - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia