Monday, 14 May 2012

The original Bakewell pudding

And...relax. I've only just recovered from an intense week which involved driving 300 miles across the country to interview a rather lovely lady for work. Despite being no specialist in oral history, I was somehow nominated to lead on interviews for my project (how?), and spent last week in the Peak District. Though beautiful, that part of the country has more green space than London, so was a lot grassier, muddier, and general squelchier underfoot than I am used to in my urban cocoon.

A small ray of sunshine in the trip (apart from my interviewee, who was charm itself) came in the shape of the original Bakewell pudding shop, just a stone's throw from our hotel.

As a girl who was happily raised on the Mr. Kipling monstrosities - and still retains a soft spot for them - I was more than a little intrigued by this wholesome original. What makes it a pudding and not a tart? And why does it look so, er, rustic (or splat on a plate, as my colleague so kindly put it).

Well the pastry is puff and not shortcrust, lined with jam, and has a crunchy base from the caramelised sugars that have seeped through. Lovely. And instead of a thick layer of child-friendly icing, it's topped with an almondy custard, giving it an unfamiliar wobble. My verdict: tasty, but tooth achingly sweet. One to be enjoyed in thin slivers with a pot of tea perhaps, and not bolted down instead of breakfast in an otherwise bare kitchen, the morning after returning from a trip away. My mistake.

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