A classic selection of dishes from the county.
*Sussex Pond Pudding
Make a dough from 8 oz self-raising flour, 4 oz shredded suet, some salt and water. Roll out 2/3rds and line a pudding basin. Put 2 oz diced, unsalted butter and 2 oz Demerara sugar into the bottom and lay on top a washed, unwaxed lemon, pricked all over. Cover the lemon with an additional 2 oz diced, unsalted butter and 2 oz Demerara sugar, make a lid with the remaining suet pastry and steam for 3 ½ – 4 hours.
A variation can have raisins either worked into the suet or sprinkled in with the butter and sugar.
*Sussex Bacon Pudding
Mix together 8 oz self-raising flour, 4 oz suet, a pinch of salt and enough water to make a dough. Roll out into a thin rectangle and lay out slices of bacon to cover the whole area. Place sliced onions on top and roll up like a roly poly. Either tie up in some muslin or place in a large pudding basin in a semi horseshoe shape and steam for 3 ½ hours. Some recipes add chopped sage to the filling.
Sussex Drip Pudding
Make a dough from 8 oz flour, 4 oz suet and some salt, wrap in muslin or similar cloth, and boil for an hour in water. Cut into thick slices and place in a tray underneath the roasting meat to catch the juices and fat. Turn once.
6 oz bacon chopped
6 oz lambs liver chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
4 oz mushrooms chopped
1 tbls fresh parsley chopped
1 tsp fresh (½ tsp dried) rosemary
salt & pepper to taste
1 oz lard
8 oz shortcrust pastry
Preheat oven to 375F, gas mark 5, 190C
Cook bacon in a frying pan in the lard for a few minutes and then add the onion and cook for two minutes. Add liver and cook for a further five minutes. Add the mushrooms, herbs and seasoning and cook for a final two minutes.
Roll out the pastry and cut into four. Alternatively use a saucer and cut into four rounds. Put three heaped tablespoons of mixture onto each segment. Dampen the edges and fold each piece in half and press edges together. Bake for 25 minutes. Some recipes suggest that some grated cheese mixed with breadcrumbs is sprinkled on top of each pie.
Sussex (Plum) Heavies
1 lb plain flour, 4 oz butter, 2 oz lard, 4 oz sugar, (4 oz currants) milk (fresh or sour according to taste)
Preheat oven to gas mark 5, 375F or 190C
Rub the flour and the softened fats together until they resemble bread crumbs, add the fruit and sugar and mix. Make into a soft dough with some milk. Roll out to a depth of half an inch and cut with a round pastry cutter. Bake for about 10 – 15 minutes until light brown.
Below is the original Banoffi Pie recipe as it first appeared in The Deeper Secrets of the Hungry Monk cookery book in 1974. Our thanks to Nigel Mackenzie owner of the Hungry Monk for permission to reproduce the recipe. For more information on the Hungry Monk visit www.hungrymonk.co.uk
Banoffi Pie Recipe (to serve 8-10 people)
12 ounces uncooked shortcrust pastry
1.5 tins condensed milk (13.5 ounces each)
1.5 pounds firm bananas
375ml of double cream
Half a teaspoon powdered instant coffee
1 dessertspoon caster sugar
A little freshly ground coffee
Preheat the oven to gas mark 5 (400F). Lightly grease a 10in x 1.5in flan tin. Line this with the pastry thinly rolled out. Prick the base all over with a fork and bake blind until crisp. Allow to cool.
The secret of this delicious pudding lies in the condensed milk. Immerse the cans unopened in a deep pan of boiling water. Cover and boil for three hours making sure that the pan does not boil dry (see Caution**).
Remove the tin from the water and allow to cool completely before opening. Inside you will find the soft toffee filling.
Whip the cream with the instant coffee and sugar until thick and smooth. Now spread the toffee over the base of the flan. Peel and halve the bananas lengthways and lay them on the toffee. Finally spoon or pipe on the cream and lightly sprinkle over the freshly ground coffee.
It is absolutely vital to top up the pan of boiling water frequently during the cooking of the cans. Three hours is a long time and if they are allowed to dry the cans will explode causing a grave risk to life, limb and kitchen ceilings.
Hint – Banoffi is a marvellous ‘emergency’ pudding once you have the toffee mixture in your store cupboard. We therefore suggest that you boil several cans at the same time as they keep unopened indefinitely.
*Recipes tested by The Foody Traveller
Tips from The Foody Traveller
We’ve not tried it, but for anybody not wanting to spend three hours boiling up tins of condensed milk, tins of Carnation Caramel are readily available.
The Foody Traveller says that anybody interested in how condensed milk came about should check our Florida – Key Lime Pie article.
Mermaid Pudding Sleeve
To save cooks steaming a roly poly pudding or Sussex Bacon or Drip Pudding in a cloth Mermaid have produced a Pudding Sleeve. This 190mm x 105mm x 85mm hard anodised aluminium bakeware is ideal of roly poly puddings, spotted dick or suet puddings. All you need do is grease the interior of the sleeve with vegetable oil before use and then drop the filled sleeve into a domestic steamer kept topped up with boiling water for the required time.