Cherries & Cooking in Saucers:
Kentish Cherry Batter Pudding
Britain is a nation of puddings, from steamed treacle sponge and Spotted Dick to Bakewell pudding and jam roly poly, we revel in our baked and steamed sweet concoctions. There are cake style puddings, steamed sponge puddings, baked tarts – sticky with syrups and studded with dried fruits and jams……and then there are the old-fashioned batter puddings such as pancakes, Yorkshire puddings, Tewkesbury puddings and Kentish cherry batter pudding. Many of these traditional batter puddings used to be baked in saucers, and so for my recipe today, I am sharing a much-loved cherry dessert that is baked in saucers…….my version of a Kentish Cherry Batter Pudding, not quite a true batter pudding, but somewhere between a light sponge cake and a batter pudding, which is perfect when baked in small plates or saucers for a simple, seasonal sweet treat.
You can use any fruit that is in season, but a true Kentish batter pudding will be made with cherries and apple juice, two of the Kent’s most popular fruits, and ones that they are most famous for, as well as their hops of course. My recipe is a cake-style batter pudding, as I prefer a more spongy texture, but for a traditional cherry batter pudding there is an excellent recipe here: Cherry Batter Pudding by Mark Hix This is an “easy peasy” recipe that is fun to serve to family and friends in the saucers, along with the obligatory bowl of thick cream, and maybe a few extra fresh cherries on the side. You don’t have to bake them in saucers, but I think it adds to the drama and the size is just perfect for a light dessert – plus it’s nice to resurrect a little bit of British baking tradition.
The recipe for my Kentish Cherry Batter Pudding is shared below and now is the perfect time to make one of these wee desserts, as it’s cherry season in England! Excuse the short post today – we have friends we have not seen for over ten years staying with us and we have been enjoying the sunshine with day trips out, as well as lots of al fresco dining, and a few glasses of wine too! See you later on in the week with more new recipes…….have a great day, Karen
Before the 16th century, ale was very popular in Kent, being made primarily from honey and malt. A new brewing recipe based on hops, which up to that point had been used solely for cooking, was then attempted and proved successful. Hop beer had the quality of excellent preservation, and although at first it was not accepted by local authorities and was banned from public consumption, in time it established its place on the market, which it still holds today through reputable brands. Hop beer is served in pubs all over Kent and is considered one of its most particular products. Visitors can try local beer and other drinks at the Kentish Beer Festival, which takes place annually in Canterbury, between the 20th and 22nd of June.
Kentish oysters. Although there are a few other locations in the UK where oysters can be found, the primary source in the whole country is the municipality of Whitstable, where oyster commerce has been attested as a prosperous trade for over four centuries. The Whitstable Oyster Festival is celebrated yearly and is appreciated by many as a colourful local event.
Angels on Horseback. This is the name of a Kentish speciality consisting of oysters and bacon rashers, which are grilled together and then served on buttered toast.
Folkestone Pudding Pie. It is also referred to as Lenten pie and is basically a rice and milk filling enclosed in a pie pastry. As the name suggests, it was meant for consumption during Lent periods, which restrict certain foods on religious grounds.
Canterbury Pudding. There are a number of distinctive recipes for this dish, but it mainly consists of breadcrumbs, pastry ingredients, brandy, milk and lemon juice. A variation with no breadcrumbs exists yet it is said to be rather dry.
Ginger Cobnut Cake. This cake is made with pastry ingredients, plus grated ginger and cobnuts, or alternatively hazelnuts. It is relatively easy to make and requires little baking time.
Cherry Batter Pudding. Akin to many puddings, it is made with ground cereals (wheat flour and corn flour), sunflower oil, eggs, milk, and of course, cherries and apple juice. Cherries are a traditional ingredient for many Kentish desserts.
Huffkins. Huffkins are traditional bakery products resembling bread rolls yet with a specific consistency, which take longer to prepare than similar modern bakery products, which are customised to meet the speedy production requirement. They are renowned for their softer texture and are customarily served with fruit based products such as jams.