Jump to content


Photo

In Praise of Pudding


  • Please log in to reply
36 replies to this topic

#1 Sneakeater

Sneakeater

    Advanced Member

  • Admin
  • PipPipPip
  • 40,931 posts

Posted 22 September 2011 - 07:55 PM

My trip to the U.K. last month was the first one I took without my wife.

Meaning, it was the first one I took without someone who never in the healthy portion of her life weighed more than 95 pounds, but who ate like a trencherman, and whose favorite form of recreation, seemingly (except eating herself), was reminding me how fat I am.

So this was the first visit to the U.K. where I could really let loose with the desserts.

English desserts, I think, are highly underrated. That is because, I think, they're basically kind of gross. Well, gross isn't the right word. Homely. They're not exquisite, like French desserts. They seem basically unevolved. But man, they're elementally good.

It may be that they're so evident now, not only because I was at last free to pay attention, but because there's such a trad movement in London right now. There's Fergus Henderson and his epigones. And there's Heston Blumenthal's turn to purportedly historical English cooking.

In any event, I went crazy over the Sussex Pond (as I now know it was) that I had the very first night I was there, at Blumenthal's Dinner.

I went crazy over every dessert I had in the Henderson joints, starting with the Lemon Posset and moving through several (maybe the best was Jersey Cream with a dome of summer berry jelly) to the Eccles Cake with which I finished (accompanied by a perfect slice of I think it was Cheshire cheese -- I HATE CHEESE IN AMERICAN RESTAURANTS!!!!!!!).

All these desserts shared certain characteristics. They were homely. They were decidedly unfancy. They were rich. They were flavorful. They were sweet but not too. They were direct. They were true to their ingredients. THEY WERE FUCKING DELICIOUS.

I applaud England for its puddings.
Bar Loser

MF Old

#2 Anthony Bonner

Anthony Bonner

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 10,836 posts

Posted 22 September 2011 - 07:56 PM

yes. I love english desserts
Why not mayo?

#3 foodie52

foodie52

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 6,340 posts

Posted 22 September 2011 - 08:24 PM

Me too. Some favorites:

rhubarb crumble with custard
sticky toffee pudding with custard
summer pudding with fresh cream
raspberries and cream
gooseberry fool
treacle tart with custard
custard tart
spotted dick with custard

We used to have Eccles cakes for "elevenses" (11:00 am, break time in English boarding schools)

Whenever I go back, I linger in front of bakeries. It's hard not to buy desserts every time. Even the icecream tastes different. (A Walls icecream cone with a Cadbury Flake shoved into it is just about perfect for the seaside.)

For me, it's all about nostalgia.
[size="4"]Visit our website for updates...Friends of Colombian Orphans

Donations are always gratefully accepted.

#4 g.johnson

g.johnson

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 18,881 posts

Posted 22 September 2011 - 08:29 PM

Eccles Cake with which I finished (accompanied by a perfect slice of I think it was Cheshire cheese

Lancashire. It's the terroir.
The Obnoxious Glyn Johnson

#5 g.johnson

g.johnson

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 18,881 posts

Posted 22 September 2011 - 08:36 PM

And the cakes.

For some reason, England's cake making tradition survived the enclosures and rationing and whatever else is blamed for the disappearance of traditional cooking there.
The Obnoxious Glyn Johnson

#6 Sneakeater

Sneakeater

    Advanced Member

  • Admin
  • PipPipPip
  • 40,931 posts

Posted 22 September 2011 - 08:45 PM

Lancashire. Right.
Bar Loser

MF Old

#7 g.johnson

g.johnson

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 18,881 posts

Posted 22 September 2011 - 08:48 PM

Though if there's been a cow within 50 miles of Eccles in the last 100 years, I would be very surprised.
The Obnoxious Glyn Johnson

#8 Sneakeater

Sneakeater

    Advanced Member

  • Admin
  • PipPipPip
  • 40,931 posts

Posted 22 September 2011 - 08:59 PM

They didn't claim it was Eccles cheese.

ETA -- I wonder if they meant old Lancashire or current Lancashire?
Bar Loser

MF Old

#9 Suzanne F

Suzanne F

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 16,638 posts

Posted 22 September 2011 - 10:06 PM

<snip>

All these desserts shared certain characteristics. They were homely. They were decidedly unfancy. They were rich. They were flavorful. They were sweet but not too. They were direct. They were true to their ingredients. THEY WERE FUCKING DELICIOUS.

I applaud England for its puddings.


Well, of course: they are all nursery food. Even if made with wine. And Blumenthal et al know that if they fuck with them, NO ONE who ever went to public school--or wishes they did--will ever patronize their establishments again.

I don't want to seem obsessed with this, but . . . -- Sneakeater, August 13, 2014

 

notorious stickler -- NY Times
deeply annoying and nitpicking -- Molly O'Neill, One Big Table


#10 Sneakeater

Sneakeater

    Advanced Member

  • Admin
  • PipPipPip
  • 40,931 posts

Posted 22 September 2011 - 10:10 PM

Nursery food! That's it!
Bar Loser

MF Old

#11 g.johnson

g.johnson

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 18,881 posts

Posted 22 September 2011 - 10:42 PM

They didn't claim it was Eccles cheese.

ETA -- I wonder if they meant old Lancashire or current Lancashire?

Most of the bits that Lancashire lost (like Eccles) aren't agricultural so it doesn't make a lot of difference. It wouldn't surprise me if it were actually made in Cheshire, a big dairy county, in any case.
The Obnoxious Glyn Johnson

#12 Sneakeater

Sneakeater

    Advanced Member

  • Admin
  • PipPipPip
  • 40,931 posts

Posted 22 September 2011 - 10:46 PM

AHA!
Bar Loser

MF Old

#13 foodie52

foodie52

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 6,340 posts

Posted 23 September 2011 - 12:36 AM

The only puddings I remember having at boarding school were:

stewed rhubarb with custard
stewed gooseberries with custard
gooseberry fool
some disgusting pink blancmange which was very watery
ditto, some disgusting white one
steamed puddings with the occasional raisin, so it can't be strictly called Spotted Dick. Just "Dick", I guess. With custard
jam rolypoly, understeamed. With custard.


I'm blocking the rest, probably. Although, there's your seven day rotation.
[size="4"]Visit our website for updates...Friends of Colombian Orphans

Donations are always gratefully accepted.

#14 GG Mora

GG Mora

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 9,234 posts

Posted 23 September 2011 - 02:11 AM

Mmmmmmm...custard.

#15 bloviatrix

bloviatrix

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 7,468 posts

Posted 23 September 2011 - 02:15 AM

Gooseberry fool is a thing of wonder. How can you go wrong with whipped heavy cream and what is basically loosely cooked gooseberry jam.
Future Legacy Participant.