Crust and Crumb

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

And eaten

Another good thing to do with bread is to make a stack of toast.



  1. I always tend to jump the gun with the cake and pudding, so mine have been made a while (a hangover from doing Christmas in retail for so long!). No sixpence in mine, though I'm slowly converting Australians to a decent British Christmas, I fear money in dessert is a step too far for them.

  2. I want to come to your house! All those lovely puddings! Yummy! Makes me really miss England.

  3. These lovely substantial puddings always make me feel as though I've stepped inside children's fiction - this is what the Carr family of the Katy books would eat, or E.S. Nesbitt's children, and Enid Blyton is wholly rooted in them. I think it was the puddings that made everyone so valiant.

  4. Yummy! My mouth is watering just looking at them.

  5. Anonymous10:56 pm GMT

    Try grated lemon rind in your treacle tart. It's really good.ME

  6. I have tried grated lemon rind, but I prefer ginger.

  7. How delicious. Each one. Although I must admit the only one I regularly bake in winter is the trusty bread and butter pudding.

    It's nice to hear of someone else using rum soaked sultanas and I love to sneak in wafer thin slices of apple between the bread too. The smell...pure warmth!

  8. What we grew up on - had one of those at least once a week along with an endless variety of fruit crumbles and rice pud.
    I m just off to make a steamed syrup sponge............

  9. Ah yes...toast...towers of it, slathered in butter and served with steaming cups of tea...my idea of heaven.

  10. you named all our favourites!!! My son rates Queen of Puddings as his all-time top pud. Since he is training to become a patisserie chef his love of puddings and cakes that I have made all his life, I like to think the good old English recipes influenced his choice of career!!!

  11. You make it sound so easy to whip up a few puds.

    Lovely post which had the added bonus of linking to your previous Christmas writing which I missed first time around. Just enjoyed reading your Christmas preparations post of 23rd Dec last year.


  12. Bread and butter pudding........... heaven on a plate.

  13. Yummy - yummy - yummy!
    Julie xxxxxx

  14. I want to live in your house. That's all.

  15. My dad used to make gorgeous treacle tart. Lovely to see such yumminess Sue x

  16. I feel quite deprived I have heard of only two of those puddings, Bread and Bread and Butter and only like the latter. I have a recipe for it by the late Michael Smith that is absolutely sumptuous and am planning on making it for the festive season if I can locate the recipe.

    Your sixpence's date is the same upside down as it is upright. Is that really our own dear Queen on there? My sixpence dates from the year of my birth, so older than yours.

  17. I put a silver 1933 3d in as it is my mothers birth year.

  18. Anonymous1:48 pm GMT

    Oh, my!! This post has made me sooooooo hungry!!!! Off to the kitchen for a snack! (Just wish it was one of these yummy puddings!!!!!)


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