Now you’ll become aware that we like giving stupid names to food, from spotted dick, eton mess to scones! Don’t worry, I’ll explain it all. Here’s my list of traditional puddings or desserts you absolutely MUST try while in England!
Sticky Toffee Pudding
[Image from Angelina Earley]
Now this is a moist sponge cake make with dates covered in a toffee sauce and served warm with a side of ice-cream or custard. Just remember that once you’ve shovelled it into your mouth, you can’t really talk, so just be quiet and enjoy the flavours.
[Image from Brooke Raymond]
Another one of Jack’s favourites and a real old-time English classic. You have a trifle when you can’t really decide what you fancy, because it has everything in it. A layer of sponge at bottom soaked in sherry or a wine, a layer of fruit (oranges, peaches, plums, any kind of berry, it will all work, we’re not fussy), a layer of custard and topped off with a whipped cream. If you fancy being extra fancy you can later the fruit and custard again or you can even chuck some more fruit on top.
[Image from Isabelle Boucher]
Now this is my favourite! Meringue, whipped cream and berries all crushed up together and served.
If you know what a pavlova is, it’s basically one of those that has been chucked about a bit and has fallen out of the box onto a plate, note it being called a mess.
[Image from Awoo Awoo]
Yes, it has a really silly name. Suet and dried fruit formed into a warm circular cake served with ice-cream or custard. While the spotted bit is obvious, as the cake does appear to have spots; we’re not too sure about the dick bit, but I can tell you it tastes good!
[Image from Tom Coates]
A classic sponge cake with a buttercream icing middle. Strawberries are the usual, but this one is decorated with all the summer berries and dusted with a light icing sugar top.
[Image from Marco Verch]
Stewed fruit such as apple and blackberry with a breadcrumb type topping of fat, flour and sugar. Baked and served with ice-cream. Best Autumn pudding on a cold blustery night.
Pies and Tarts
Sweet pies come in two different fashions, a thick pastry top like the savoury pies or with a fruit or meringue top – which then means it’s sometimes referred to as a tart. The nation’s full pastry favourites include the classic apple pie, apple and blackberry pie, gooseberry pie or Christmas mince pies. Don’t worry it’s not mince as in mince meat, it’s a mixture of dried fruit, suet and candied fruit and spices normally topped up with a little bit of brandy or rum.
You then move onto the second type of pie or tart. My favourite is a Lemon Meringue Pie, a sweet pastry case with lemon curd, topped with meringue. I’m literally drooling. Second up is a Bakewell Tart, a shortcrust pastry case with layers of jam, frangipane and flaked almonds hidden beneath a icing lid topped with a glacier cherry. Or finish up with a Treacle Tart, a pastry case with golden syrup filling.
A tradition dating back to the 11th century, cream tea is scones served with jam and clotted cream with lots of helpings of tea.
You should split the scone in two and then layer on the jam and clotted cream. Depending on where in the country you eat them, make sure that you do it correctly. In Devon you add the cream first, then the jam. In Cornwall you add the jam first then the cream. Got it? They take it very seriously.
Ok, now I’m really hungry!
Let me know what your favourite English puddings or desserts are or what you’re looking forward to trying on your trip in the comment box below.
If you liked this, make sure you check out my other post on traditional food you absolutely MUST try while in England!
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