English puddings are, of course, the best in the world.
A proper pudding is solid, sustaining and substantial and made of such things as flour, butter, suet, sugar and eggs.
They are also often thrifty. Many of the nicest puddings rely on the humble leftover crust or crumb for their substance.
Queen of puddings is an airy confection of crumb-speckled custard, raspberry jam and meringue.
Apple Charlotte is apples baked inside a case of buttered bread slices.
Poor Knights of Windsor is a version of eggy bread where the bread is soaked in sherry before being dipped in eggs and fried in butter.
Bread pudding is a very solid affair of soaked leftover bread and dried fruit baked in a baking tin and cut into slices.
Summer pudding, somewhat lighter than most puds, is a cold dish of summer berries encased in juice-soaked bread.
Many steamed puddings contain breadcrumbs as well as flour. This helps lighten the pudding.
One such steamed pud is Christmas pud. The recipe I used has breadcrumbs, a little flour, suet, sugar, spices, apple, dried fruit, eggs, rum and stout in it. It also has a sixpence. This year is my sixpence's 50th anniversary.
I noticed that it had become discoloured. I decided to be cautious and wrapped it in foil before stirring into the pud. I made sure everyone in the family stirred it too, it's traditional.
Doesn't the queen look young?
Treacle tart is another wonderful pudding made with breadcrumbs.
This is easy to make. It is simply a pastry case filled with breadcrumbs which have been mixed with golden syrup and baked. I'm sure treacle was used once upon a time but I have only ever eaten it made with golden syrup. I like to add ginger to the mixture.
I made a big tart (about 10 inches) using shortcrust pastry made with 8 oz of flour and 4 oz of butter. For the filling I used about 8 oz of crumbs and 12 tablespoons of syrup. I baked it for about half an hour at 190°c/170°c fan oven.
Bread and butter pudding must be the best pudding of this kind.
Buttered bread is layered with dried fruit, about 6-8 slices. I used rum-soaked sultanas.
A mixture of 3 eggs, 10 fl oz milk, 2 fl oz cream and 2 oz sugar is poured over and left to soak for a few hours. I added some vanilla extract.
Then it is baked for 35-40 mins at 180°c/160°c fan oven
Another good thing to do with bread is to make a stack of toast.