Just occasionally I get the urge to try out slightly arcane recipes. We’re not talking roast Dormouse here (though I do have Roman cookery books), but rather recipes from England’s dim and distant past that have fallen out of favour. Usually you do find out why they have fallen out of favour, but just sometimes you find a recipe that makes you go “why?“. Why does no one eat this anymore?
So, I found a recipe for Chess Pie. Now I know this brings to mind a black and white Battenburg cake, but no. Chess Pie is probably more in line with an egg custard, or a traditional Bakewell pudding (not the Mr Kipling Bakewell Tart that is so well known, but the authentic puddings you need to buy from Bakewell itself). It’s now seen as synonymous with the Deep South, but, sorry my American friends, this is an olde Englishe dish!
There are lots of recipes out there but in the end I used a hybrid of recipes from
Home Sweet Home and an intriguing little book I ordered during a late night Amazon browsing session (a librarians equivalent of a drunken evening with the Shopping Channel)
I wasn’t at all sure what the finished item should look or taste like, but you know what? It was really nice. The oven temperature was obviously not correct for our temperamental oven as the mix took twice as long to set as it should and the top was more like meringue than I think is properly authentic. But it tasted good.
Why don’t we make this anymore? why? why?
Star gazy pie next?