Sunday 5 May 2013

Kentish Pudding Pie - for AlphaBakes

There are times when taking part in blog challenges stretches my family's tolerance a bit too far and I think that might have been the case here. K was never going to be an easy letter to use for this month's AlphaBakes Challenge, as there are very few ingredients beginning with that letter. Going for geographic Ks was just as difficult - I had to reject Kentucky Derby Pie, even though it sounded delicious to me, as being just too nutty for FB to want to eat.
Closer to home, Kent showed more promise, and I eventually settled on this traditional English pie, also known as Kentish Lent Pie, which is basically an enriched ground rice pudding baked in a pastry case. This sort of pudding dates back to the time when fat and flour was a major source of energy for many people, and eggs and milk were readily available for country dwellers.  Some sources suggest it was eaten during Lent, when meat was forbidden, as it would be quite nutritious, but to me it seems to be in the same class as pancakes, which were eaten just before Lent to use up excess eggs and milk, which wouldn't be eaten during the abstemious period leading up to Easter.  

This dessert is described in some places as similar in taste to a baked cheesecake, but to me, with the added nutmeg, it was more like a baked egg custard tart, with a less delicate texture. The flavour was very bland, and I'm glad I included the lemon zest and extract, as suggested in the recipe I eventually followed for the filling. Without it, I don't think anyone would have wanted to eat more the next day.

I made my own pastry recipe, using SR flour for a little extra lightness, and followed the Baking Mad recipe for the filling, using sultanas instead of currants. The pie tin I used was a little larger than the 20cm (8") suggested in the recipe, and I think an extra half quantity of filling would have made a better balanced pie.

This was a pleasant enough dessert, improved by a helping of roast rhubarb, but it's not going to make it's way onto the list of things to repeat any time soon. (I haven't even dared tell my husband that there's ground rice in it - rice pudding is anathema to him!)

AlphaBakes is a monthly baking challenge hosted alternately by Caroline of Caroline Makes, and Ros of The More Than Occasional Baker. It's name speaks for itself, but more information, and the rules, can be found here. Caroline is hosting this month, when the random letter to use is K, and she will post a round up of entries at the end of the month.


Alicia Foodycat said...

I think that looks lovely - I am a sucker for custardy things! K is quite a challenge!

Caroline said...

I agree with Foodycat - it looks great and soft custardy filling in crisp pastry sounds like a great dessert. I wonder if there's a way to up the flavours if you found it to be not that tasty. But there are plenty of different desserts to try!

Katie said...

An interesting looking pie. Not seen one quite like that before although it looks slightly similar to Yorkshire Curd Tart. Shame you weren't that impressed with it, but if you don't try you don't know :)

Unknown said...

never been a fan of the whole set custardy thing but I must say this looks damn fine!

Caroline Cowe said...

I've never heard of this before, it sounds intriguing - and looks great! Thanks for sending it to Alphabakes.