A Pudding c.1850


I feel the need to share a recipe, I have these moments, it comes from a need to feed people. There’s nothing I like more than a load of folks sitting around my kitchen table tucking in to something warm out of the oven

Now brace yourselves, you are going to look at the list of ingredients and go “yuck!”, but trust me. This recipe has been handed down through five generations of my family, from my 2x Great Gran who was born in 1841, but for all I know it may be older than that.

I’ve had to work out the weight of ingridents, because it came down to me as “a bit of that and a handful of this and a smidgen of that.”. One day someone will tell me just how much a “smidgen” is, I’d love to know.

I did do some research and think I found something very like this in Eliza Acton’s ” Modern Cooking for Private Families” first published in 1845, so it could be that Jessie got it from there.

However it began, this is what has come down the family

500 grams of raw potato. these must be the white floury type, not the waxy salad ones.

(There’s your “yuck” moment. She promised us pudding and now she is talking spuds)

140 grams of unsalted butter

140 grams of castor sugar

2 large eggs, beaten

a pinch of salt

the grated zest of 2 lemons

the juice of one lemon

200 grams of currants

200 grams of sultanas

nutmeg, freshly grated.

Boil the potatoes in unsalted water until they are tender and then mash until they are very, very smooth.

Allow to cool for a few minutes; then beat in the butter, the lemon juice and zest, the sugar and the eggs.

The mixture will be very liquid.

Now fold in the dried fruit.

Pour everything into a well buttered baking dish and cook in a moderate oven for 20-25 minutes. It should be set, but still have a slight wobble in the middle.

The original recipe doesn’t include this, but I like to sprinkle the whole thing with sugar and caramelise it. You can do this under the grill, but I’ve got a culinary blow torch and there is nothing more fun than powering ti up and torching something.

Serve in slices with or without cream. It is at its best warm, but cold is pretty good as well.

Kitchen 10: Marmalade Ice Cream!

I love marmalade, I like that grown up bitter sweet flavour and the freshness if orange that its able to retain.

Here in England it’s at this time of year when the Seville Oranges from Spain make their brief seasonal appearance.

These odd bitter oranges make the very best marmalade and are marvellous for any savoury recipe that uses orange juice, especially very old ones, as once these were the only oranges available.

I’m not going to list preserving recipes, everyone has their own favourite one or their own favourite brand. A plug here for the Prince of Wales Duchy brand, the Clementine Marmalade is to die for.

But I am going to encourage everyone to do more than lavish it on toast in the morning.

Buy a tub of your favourite vanilla ice cream, allow it to thaw to the point where you can just stir it about and add half a jar of marmalade. You may need to soften it if its a very well set one, warm it gently and add some orange juice ( or lemon or lime or grapefruit depending on the type), cool and then fold the preserve through the ice cream and refreeze.

If you have an adult audience, and in my experience kids don’t much like marmalade, add a slurp of Cointreau.

Serve it with some nice short bread biscuits ( cookies for all you Americans)