When I visited England (Peterborough) back in 1997, my family and I stayed with friends in their home. One evening, our hostess served us--what I believe to be--English pudding. First, she plated what looked like bread pudding, then poured a custard over that, and then some sort of cream over that. (Is this a common tradition to add custard and cream on top of the pudding, or was it something she just felt like doing?) It was "smack the table" good! It was truly rich and indulgent, but worth it! I've been on the lookout for a recipe like this throughout the years and I would really love to know if someone out there can pinpoint a recipe for the pudding, plus the custard and cream served on top. Thanks!
Last year, I had lunch with an English friend at The Settler's Inn, in Hawley, PA. This dessert, which she ordered just for nostalgia's sake, turned out to be spectacular - and not nearly as sweet as I feared it would be. The chef was very happy to share the recipe with us, but I've never tried to make it. Soon...
English Toffee Pudding
The Settler’s Inn
6 tablespoons soft, unsalted butter
1 cup + 2 tablespoons sugar
2 medium eggs
1½ teaspoons vanilla
1½ cups plus 1½ tablespoons, separated, all-purpose flour
1½ teaspoons baking powder
1 heaping cup of chopped dates
1½ teaspoons baking soda
2 cups boiling water
Grease 16 muffin tin cups or a 10-inch deep pie pan. Preheat the oven to 350°.
In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla. Add 1½ cups of the flour and the baking powder and mix on medium speed until blended, scraping down the sides of the bowl occasionally.
In another bowl, combine the dates, the remaining 1½ tablespoons flour and the baking soda. Pour the 2 cups of boiling water over the top and quickly mix. Then add immediately to the creamed mixture in the first bowl and blend together until just mixed. The mixture will look very watery and will somewhat resemble pig slop. Do not worry. (NOTE: This is a direct quote from the chef, not my commentary!)
Divide among 16 well-greased muffin tin cups or a 10-inch deep pie pan. Bake at 350° for about 20 minutes, or until puffed and brown. (If using a deep pie pan, it will take about 30 minutes.)
Serve warm with warm caramel sauce and whipped cream or ice cream.
The pudding can be frozen and reheated.
I grew up in England, and when I think of true English pudding I think of steamed sponge puddings made with suet (which is basically ground hard beef fat). These came in a variety of flavors, but my favorites were Apple and Cinnamon Layer Pudding and, of course, Spotted Dick. I don't even know if the Brits eat this stuff any more because I am sure the food police have cracked down on suit. I know it's bad for you, but it's not like anybody ate it every day and it made the most glorious stick-to-your ribs desert that you could ever imagine.
Ahhh, what I would give for a good Spotted Dick drowning in custard.......
I just love traveling to the UK and always track down Sticky Toffee Pudding, Banoffee Pie, Bread Pudding, Spotted Dick, etc. I regularly make them at home, too. Am making my husband Sticky Toffee Pudding for his birthday Thursday. Yum!