Kent is a county in the south-east region of England, and these are a collection of local and regional recipes handed down within families who have lived and worked in the Kent area. All of the recipes below are regionally authentic, originally coming from recipe books published in the 1800s or 1900s, with the weights and measurements adjusted (alongside the old standards) where appropriate for the modern kitchen.
1 1/2 lb (750g) plain flour, 1/2 oz (15g) yeast, 1 teaspoonful castor sugar, 1 1/2 teaspoonfuls salt, 2 oz (60g) lard, 3/4 pint (400ml) tepid liquid (cold milk and warm water, or parsnip wine and warm water).
Make a bread dough from the flour, yeast, caster sugar, salt and liquid. Leave to rise. When it has risen rub in the lard, and let it rise again. Divide the dough into pieces the size of unleavened buns, put on a baking tray and allow to rise once more. Cook in a hot oven 420C (210C) for about 10 minutes or until brown. Eat hot with plenty of butter.
KENTISH PUDDING PIES
The Pastry: 1/2 lb (250g) plain flour, 3 oz (85g) lard, 2oz (60g) butter, pinch of salt, 1 teaspoonful baking powder, water to mix.
The Filling: 1 pint (600ml) fresh milk, 2 tablespoonfuls ground rice, 2 oz (60g) butter, 2 oz (60g) white sugar, 1 egg, pinch of mixed spice, 2 bay leaves, a few currants.
Rub the fat into the flour, baking powder and salt sifted together, and mix with a very little cold water. Roll out thinly and fit to a shallow basin. Trim the edges, prick the bottom to prevent it rising and cook it ‘blind’ i.e. cover the pastry with greased paper and fill in the bread or beans to stop the bottom rising. Raising the edges of the pastry slightly from the basin will help it to fluff up in cooking.
For the filling, warm the milk, moisten the ground rice with a little of the warmed milk, and add to the milk. Add spice and bay leaves and cook very slowly, stirring carefully, to the boil and boil for 3 minutes. Remove the bay leaves and stir in fat and sugar. Allow this milk mixture to cool slightly, then add the lightly beaten egg. Remove the bread and paper from the cooked pastry. Put in the filling. Sprinkle over a few currants previously washed in warm water and dried, and put in a hot oven to brown. This Kentish pudding pie or Lenten pie, may be eaten hot or cold.
KENTISH WELL PUDDING
Make a suet crust with 8 oz (225g) plain flour, 4 oz (115g) grated English beef suet and a good pinch of salt. Roll out and line a well-greased pudding basin. Half fill with brown moist sugar and a few knobs of butter. Put a thin layer of crust through the centre and fill up with more sugar and more butter knobs and a final layer of crust. Cover with greaseproof paper and tie the pudding cloth securely. Boil for 2 hours. Turn onto a hot dish and serve.