Pudding Club. Seven traditional English puddings are served at each Pudding Club dinner. After a small main course, the puddings are carried in in great state, to be admired before they are demolished. The rules are (1) each table can only go up to the pudding counter when called (2) only one pudding at a time (3) you must finish your pudding each time – clean your plate right up!.
I am proud to say I sampled all seven. On the evening I attended, the seven were:
- Spotted Dick- Bread and Butter Pudding (here, here, here)
- Autumn Pudding (a steamed pudding with dried fruit and apple)
- Ginger Syrup Pudding (another steamed pudding with a lovely sticky ginger coating)
- Squidgy Chocolate Pudding with nuts (and chocolate sauce)
- Lord Randall’s Pudding (a steamed pudding with apricots and orange, and marmalade – lovely). This is a special recipe of the club.
- Eton Mess with blackberries instead of the traditional strawberries.
Naturally, the puds are served with lashings of custard (8 gallons per evening), and by popular request over the decades, this is not made from scratch, but is the iconic British Bird’s brand.
Accolades and Congratulations for the Club for keeping these puddings alive.
Eton Mess is now a traditional part of the Eton Open Day in June, as well as of course, Wimbledon and the Henley Regatta. It seems that originally it may have been made with bananas, and was essentially just a mixture of these (or the strawberries) and cream or ice-cream. At some time (maybe in the 1930’s?), broken up meringues were mixed with the cream, and this is now the “traditional” recipe.
“Recipe” is not quite the right word, it is more of an assembly really. Just take approximately equal amounts of strawberries and cream, and fold them together with the broken up pieces of meringue – and serve immediately.