Thursday, July 04, 2013

Sussex Pudding.

I am still holidaying in the South of England, and looking forward to the Oxford Symposium on Food and Cookery at the weekend. My intention, before I left, was to have all my stories pre-posted, but that didn't quite happen, so for the next week they will be done on the fly, from my iPad.

I am in Sussex, so am reminded of Sussex Pudding, or Sussex 'Pond' Pudding. I am not sure if 'pond' references the 'pound' of butter, or the veritable pond of melted butter which appears when it is cooked.

Here is a recipe from The Queen Like Closet (1672) by Hannah Woolley

To make a Sussex Pudding.
 Take a little cold cream, butter and flower, with some beaten spice, eggs, and a little salt. Make them into a stiff paste, then make them into a round ball, and you mold it, put in a piece of butter in the middle; and so tye it hard up in a buttered cloth, and put it into boiling water, and let it boil apace till it be enough then serve it in, and garnish your dish with barberries; when it is at the table cut it open at the top, and there will be as it were a pound of butter, then put rosewater and sugar into it and so eat it.
In some of this like paste you may wrap great apples, being pared whole, in one piece of thin paste, and so close it round the apple, and through them into boiling water, and let them boil till enough, you may also put some green gooseberries into some, and when wither of these are boiled, cut them open and put in rosewater butter and sugar."

Almost one hundred years later William Ellis described a similar pudding in The Country Housewife's Family Companion, 1750".

Sussex Pudding.
There are two ways of making this famous pudding, a flat way and a round way. On the 13th of June, 1749, baiting at the Cat-Inn at East-Grinstead, I saw the cook-maid seemingly put a flat cake of dough on a wooden paddle, about the bigness and shape of a round trencher, into the boiling water of a pot that had meat in it for dinner, which, by a long handle to it, she held in the water till it boiled hardish; then she drew away the wooden paddle or skimmer, and left the pudding-cake to sink and boil longer. Now this pudding, she told me, was made with flower, milk, eggs, and a little butter kneaded together, and when boiled enough, it was taken out, slit in two, and butter put into it. Thus she made this Sussex pudding, that was to be eaten with meat instead of bread.The other way is, to make a round pudding of the same ingredients, which (I suppose) is to be tied up in a cloth, and in the middle of this pudding they put a piece of butter, and so inclose it with the dough that the butter cannot boil out. When boiled enough, they find the butter run to oil, and so well soaked into the pudding, that they eat it with meat instead of bread, or without meat as a delicious pudding


SometimesKate said...

I want to try the savoury version. Enjoy your trip!

carolina said...

Hmmm, I may just have to try this!

Elise Fleming/Alys K. said...

It would be interesting to hear your report about the sessions you attended at the Oxford Symposium. Can that be squeezed into this blog?