In the days when Lent was strictly observed, many cooks became very ingenious at thinking up new dishes to break the monotony of their abstemious diet. This recipe, sometimes called Kentish Pudding Pie, is rather like a baked cheesecake and made a pleasant change; it was particularly popular in the area round Folkestone.
serves 4 - 6
175 g (6 oz) plain wholemeal flour
pinch of salt
150 g (5 oz) butter
300 ml (1/2 pint) fresh milk
25 g (1 oz) ground rice
50 g (2 oz) sugar
finely grated rind of 1 lemon
1.25 ml (1/4 tsp) grated nutmeg
25 g (1 oz) currants
1. To make the pastry, put the flour and salt in a bowl and rub in 75 g (3 oz) of the butter until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Stir in 45 - 60 ml
(3 - 4 tbsp) cold water to bind the mixture together into a dough.
2. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface and use to line a greased 20.5 cm (8 inch) fluted flan dish or tin. Bake blind at 200°C (400°F) mark 6 for 10 - 15 minutes, until set.
3. Meanwhile, put the milk and rice in a pan and bring to the boil, stirring continuously, until the mixture thickens. Remove the pan from the heat and leave to cool.
4. When the mixture is cold, cream the remaining butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then add the lemon rind, salt, nutmeg and the rice mixture. Mix thoroughly together and pour into the flan case. Sprinkle the currants on top.
5. Bake at 190°C (375°F) mark 5 for 40 - 45 minutes, until firm to the touch and golden brown. Serve the pie warm.
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