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Tony Grist

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Puddings And Pies [Nov. 18th, 2007|10:23 am]
Tony Grist
You can laugh all you like at traditional English cooking, but no-one does desserts like we do. No-one else even really tries. The continental Europeans make finicky little pastry things- and very good they are too- and the Indians have all those brightly coloured sweets, but there's nothing in any other national cuisine to match our puddings and pies.

British deserts are heavy. They're comfort food-  stodge- a defence against the British weather. The miracle ingredient is suet. 

I was talking to Judy about Christmas puddings and mince pies. Judy is a New Yorker and she wasn't sure she'd ever had either. I was incredulous. I can't imagine Christmas without puddings and pies. Oh, and cake. These are the things that make the winter months bearable. I'm being entirely serious when I say that Christmas pudding- served with brandy butter for preference, but custard or cream will do- is the most delicious dish known to Man.

I've already started making mince pies. I make a batch, we eat them, I make some more. It's what's keeping us going. Ailz tells me I have a particularly light touch with pastry.

[User Picture]From: veronica_milvus
2007-11-18 04:51 pm (UTC)
ooh you are not wrong! Real Xmas pud is a ton better than the xmas cake. I soak the dried fruit in brandy overnight before cooking, it plumps up all the raisins beautifully! And in general, English puddings are to die for - rhubarb crumble, jam roly poly, treacle sponge, bread and butter puidding (fabulous with nutmeg and sultana or with marmalade!)sticky toffee pudding, sussex pond pudding, apple pie, all with lashings of CUSTARD of course...

American puddings are generally of the gateau variety and even in quite good restaurants they are a bit cheap and plasticky like an Asda budget version. And their birthday cakes are quite nasty too.

Someone should do an English puddings calendar and sell it to expats...
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2007-11-19 10:28 am (UTC)
I'm not going to knock Christmas cake- it's pretty fabulous- but Christmas pud is the best.

I don't know why we don't push our puddings more. Maybe it's because we don't eat them ourselves any more. I saw a newspaper article the other day which asked whether the traditional English suet pud was finished. It made me sad.
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