Monday 6 February 2012

Bakewell Pudding

Bakewell pudding - almonds, raspberry jam, egg custard and puff pastry

Bakewell pudding - almonds, raspberry jam, egg custard and puff pastry

I have a distant memory of visiting Bakewell many moons ago - long walks in the mist and rain through eye poppingly beautiful scenery. A landscape in harmony with its weather - a palette of brown, green and grey.  Mysterious and distant, the smell of wet earth and damp vegetation stirring a primal sensibility. But the memory is further hightened by the experience of eating a Bakewell Pudding.

As a lover of all things almond, Bakewell Pudding touched me. Warm, eggy, almondy  served with custard it was nothing like the sweets that masquerade under the same sobriquet. So the memory has haunted me...until 2008, when deep in the rare books section of the British Library, researching an eighteenth century apple scoop, I came across a recipe in a snappily titled book called 'English Recipes, and others from Scotland, Wales and Ireland as they appeared in eighteenth and nineteenth century cookery books and now devised for modern use', by Sheila Hutchins, published in 1967.

Well I'm pretty sure this is where the recipe came from, as I scrawled it down in pencil in my tatty notebook. As ever I have altered the quantities stated in the recipe - I prefer mine to be more almondy than buttery but will put both versions here - the original quantities are in brackets.

Bakewell Pudding
Grease a cake tin, line with very thinly rolled puff pastry, cover and refrigerate overnight
Next day, cover the pastry with raspberry jam - including up the sides
Gently melt 3oz (8oz) butter in a pan 
Whisk 4 (8) eggs with 4oz (8oz) caster sugar until pale and runny
Slowly run in the melted butter - keep whisking all together
Finally stir in 4oz (4oz) of ground almonds
Pour into the tin and bake at 180 Celsius until set and the pastry is cooked.

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