What is the essence of the book?
This is an (almost) pocket sized collection of popular British puddings based on the author’s own extensive research as well as feedback from dessert aficionados around the country. It covers everything from rib sticking steamed puddings to lighter syllabubs and trifles suitable for any season. Given its affiliation with the National Trust there are also references to puddings inspired by some of its famous properties such as Waddesdon Manor Christmas Pudding.
About the author
As the author of Pride and Pudding: The History of British Puddings Regula Ysewijn, a food historian and self confessed Anglophile, is ideally positioned to write this book. She has an encyclopaedic knowledge of British food history especially when it comes to desserts. Her debut book was also short listed for both the André Simon Award and the Fortnum & Mason Award.
Who will like it?
This would be a great gift for anyone who adores traditional puddings but perhaps doesn’t have a thirst for too much background information. The historical snippets provide just the right level of detail to pique the readers interest without overloading it. Plus if you did want to find out more about British puddings it is a great lead into Ysewijn’s comprehensive book on the subject, Pride and Pudding.
Who won’t like it?
Definitely one for the sweet toothed among us. If you eschew sugary delights then this isn’t for you.
What do I like about the book?
This is a perfectly charming book which makes you feel instantly nostalgic the moment you pick it up. As Ysewijn says ‘Pudding is deeply rooted in the British psyche; it is part of what it means to be British and it has been that way for centuries.’ What is particularly lovely is the mixture of puddings she has included in the book. So whilst there are truly historic recipes like Sussex Pond Pudding and Almond Blancmange there are also more modern recipes like Cornflake Tart and Arctic Roll which take me right back to my school days (when I could eat puddings indiscriminately without the fear of piling not the pounds). It’s packed with recipes accompanied by Louise Morgan’s delightful illustrations that will give you that Ready Brek glow (something the cereal never did for me quite like a real pudding).
Would I cook from it?
Who could resist making a recipe called Apple Dappy or Wet Nelly? I know I can’t!