The Bakewell Pudding
Bakewell claims to be the home of the authentic Bakewell Pudding and many believe it to originally come from the Rushbottom Lane district.
It is claimed that the recipe was originally something of an accidental invention of the 1860s, the result of a misunderstanding between Mrs Graves,
Mistress of the Inn, and her kitchen assistant. A noblemen visiting the White Horse Inn (now called The Rutland Arms)ordered a strawberry tart. Mrs Graves, asked an inexperienced kitchen assistant to make a strawberry tart. But the assistant, however, made a non sweet pastry.
The result was so successful with the guest that the recipe became recognised as the Bakewell Pudding. Mrs Wilson, wife of a Tallow Chandler who lived in the cottage now known as The Old Original Bakewell
Pudding Shop where candles were made, saw the possibility of making the puddings for sale and obtained the so-called recipe and commenced
in a business of her own.
This claim is almost certainly spurious, as the pudding was by then already well-known, and its antecedents can be traced back to medieval times.
It is a contention of local history that the secret recipe for the Bakewell Pudding was left by Mrs Graves in her will to a Mr Radford, In turn Mr Radford passed the recipe on to Mr Bloomer. There is still a Bloomers Shop in Bakewell that makes and sells Bloomers Original Bakewell Puddings ®.
As with any traditional recipe, there are bound to be many different versions, especially if the original recipe is a well guarded secret.
A Bakewell tart is one particular version of the Bakewell pudding. This is a dessert which used to be made in homes all over the country and consisted of a sponge mixture in a pastry case, flavoured with almonds, with jam at the bottom. This dessert is also widely available commercially but it is not really at all like the Bakewell pudding either in flavour or texture.
The famous authoress Allison Uttley, who lived in Lea, a village near Bakewell, wrote in her book 'Recipes from an old Farmhouse':
"(the local name was Bakewell Pudding, for the tart was really for the pudding stage of the meal and not for tea.) Cover a wide shallow dish with thin puff paste. Put in it a layer of jam, preferably raspberry, but any kind will do. It should be half an inch thick. Take the yolks of eight eggs and beat the whites of two. Add half a pound of melted butter and half a pound each of sugar and ground bitter almonds. Mix all well together, and pour into the pastry case over the jam. Bake for half an hour and serve nearly cold."
"This was one our favourite dishes, but it was a rich dish for special occasions only."
A Cherry Bakewell is small cake, covered with a top layer of icing and a single central half-cherry, also known as a Bakewell Cake.
To some extent, the terms cake and tart are used interchangeably, though most insist the names are recipe specific. Recipes abound,
for example those given by Ben Mathews (1839), Eliza Acton (1845), K Morgan , M Bates and Mrs Beeton (1861), and modern commercial
examples are to be found in most cake shops and on every supermarket shelf. The name only became common in the 20th Century; the dish
was previously known as Bakewell Pudding.