Cooking England County By County: Bedfordshire: Bedfordshire Pudding

 I´m on a roll....two blog posts within a short space of each other!! In my quest to prove that English food is varied and tasty and discover new dishes that I´ve never tried or cooked before from my own country, I´ve decided to cook 3 dishes from each county. At the moment we are still in Bedfordshire and this recipe is a dessert, which I think is one of the things we do best.

Again, it´s a dish I´d never heard of before and certainly haven´t tried..in fact I haven´t even seen it before. I couldn´t find much information, only that it might originally have been a religious festival cake, such as Banbury cakes and Shrewsbury biscuits.
Basically, it´s a custard pie or tart with the addition of dried fruits such as raisins and currants. It´s a lovely recipe however it does need tweaking a little as the pastry was a touch overdone for my liking and I will definitely been making it again.Next time I would do the following things....use a different pie dish (the recipe says to use a shallow,rectangular dish but doesn´t specify how big), double the amount of the filling so it´s a bit thicker and either cook the pie at a lower temperature or for a shorter amount of time. Unfortunately it wasn´t such a big hit with my daughter as she would hardly even try it...maybe next time!! Here´s a link to the recipe I used:  Bedfordshire Pudding. This recipe doesn´t state how much shortcrust pastry you need...you could use either homemade (click on the link for my pastry recipe) or ready made shortcrust pastry..I made about 200g but you will definitely have some leftover pastry..you will probably only need about 100-150g. Another note to add is you can leave out the candied or mixed peel like I did, especially if you have trouble finding it where you live or you could just add some grated lemon or orange peel in to substitute the candied peel!

I´ll update this post or add a comment next time I make this commenting on how the alterations to this recipe worked! Hope you enjoy this dish and begin to see that we can cook and our food is varied!!I´d also love to hear about which of these regional dishes you´ve enjoyed the most. Only one more recipe for Bedfordshire to go...what will it be?


Super Simple & Quick Crunchies

 This recipe is great if you don´t have much in the cupboard or have unexpected guests and need to whip something up very quickly as it is so simple and quick to make. It is also ideal to make with older kids because it´s so easy to do. I don´t know the origin of Crunchies so I´m not sure if they are British or from elsewhere...however this particular recipe comes from Delia Smith´s book The Complete Cookery Course and what´s more it only has 3 main ingredients so is pretty economical too! You could always adapt the recipe too and add dried fruits, nuts or coconut...anything you want really.

Ingredients (makes about 12)
110 g porridge oats (or 50g whole or jumbo oats(very difficult to find!) and 60g porridge oats)
75g brown sugar (preferably demerara)
110g butter or margarine

1. Preheat oven to 190ºC(375ºF), Gas Mark 5.
2. Grease a shallow square tin of roughly 28 x 18cm (I´m not sure my tin measures this but it did the job anyway!)I´d also reccommend that you use some baking paper as despite greasing the tin with baking spray, it did stick a little.
3.Place oats and sugar in a bowl and combine.
4.Melt the butter over a low heat so it doesn´t brown, then add to oats and sugar and combine well.
5. Tip mixture into baking tin and press it out evenly using your hands, the back of a spoon or a knife.
6. Bake in the oven for about 15 minutes until a pale golden colour and remove from the oven.
7. Cut into 12 equally sized bars while still warm and then leave to cool and crisp.

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