Jan Bilton's wicked winter warmers
Puddings — as we know them — are distinctly English creations. There is a school of thought that the Roman sausage was a type of pudding, and the Portuguese have their pudim and the Spanish their pudin. However, it was a new style of oven which revolutionized English home cooking and established ‘pudding’ as their sweet national treasure.
In 16th century England, many ordinary houses introduced small ovens built into their chimneys. The ovens were not very hot which made it possible to cook a cereal ‘pudding’ slowly.
At this time, the alternative method of cooking a pudding was by boiling. Sweet and savoury mixtures were forced into a length of animal gut, then boiled or steamed. In the 17th century the pudding-cloth was invented and this allowed cooks to prepare puddings at any time. A proliferation of sweet and savoury recipes resulted. They became a daily favourite with most of the English.
During the 1800s sponge puddings and boiled and baked batters gained in popularity and by the end of the century English puddings were world-renowned.
Crumble was developed during the Second World War as a quicker method of making a fruit pie rather than using pastry. It has remained one of our favourites.
A self-saucing pudding. Get the recipe.
Best served immediately after cooking. Get the recipe.
Any left-over crumble can be frozen. Get the recipe.