Sunday, 12 December 2010

Sussex pond pudding

Skip mentioned a traditional Californian dish, the tri-tip sandwich, and this reminded me of the traditional, regional foods we enjoy in England: Lancashire hotpot, Bakewell tart, Yorkshire pudding and so on. There are two I can think of originating from Sussex - the Sussex pond pudding and Sussex smokies.

Sussex pond pudding consists of suet pastry formed in a pudding basin although in days gone by the pudding was more often made by gently simmering the pudding in a clout or cloth, and some believe that this method continued longer in Sussex than elsewhere in the country. Inside the pastry case a filling made of equal quantities of brown sugar and butter and a single large lemon scrubbed then pricked all over. The pastry lid seals the goodness inside, and the whole pudding is steamed at length. The lengthy steaming is required to work the magic inside the pastry: the juices of the lemon, mix with the melted butter and the brown sugar, creating a rich but sharp sauce that should gush from the pudding when it is cut into at table. ‘Pond’, appears to refer to the brown liquid that surrounds the pudding on its plate. Older sources indicate another possibility, that ‘pond’ was a corruption of the ‘pound’ of sauce that was produced from the pudding.

Sussex smokies are a simple but glorious starter for a meal. For each person you need a ramekin. In the bottom of each ramekin, place a piece of smoked haddock, raw. Cover with single cream, and grate over it a generous amount of cooking cheese, such as cheddar. Top it off with a some grated parmesan for extra 'bite', and bake in a hot oven for about 20 minutes. Serve each person with it as a starter, still in the ramekin & piping hot.

I had to copy the recipes from elsewhere as I'm no cook.


#1Nana said...

I do enjoy reading about these English recipes...I'm learning something of my lost heritage. The one thing I had to buy when I visited Brighton was Brighton rock. I remembered it from my childhood and my grandmother would send it to me in holiday packages.

Suldog said...

That looks delicious. Since we're talking regional puddings, I'll send you to look at one we sometimes enjoy in the Boston area, Indian Pudding.

I have no idea if this was originally concocted by natives of the Americas; probably not. For one thing, I don't believe they would have had ice cream...