Thursday 18 January 2024

Going on a Railway Pudding journey

From Woodhead to Doncaster

In June 2023, I finally launched a book of my late father's railway photos, entitled 'From Woodhead to Doncaster. A pictorial Railway Journey’ by Fred Abson. The photos and detailed text comprised signal boxes, bridges, crossings and junctions, signal box diagrams along the Woodhead route and the MS&W Railway between 1979 and 1982 as well as photos of Deltics at Doncaster Plant works in the early 1980s.

Growing up on a railway station left me with many memories and a lifelong passion for the railways so compiling the ‘book with the amazing help and support of friends and former colleagues of my father was a real labour of love. This impressive collection of photographs, which my father left, is testament not only to his eye for detail but also to his lifelong passion for railways. I made a splendid cake for the launch in Barnsley to celebrate this pictorial railway journey.

Grandma Abson had a part to play in my railway upbringing story. Her father and husband had both been railway workers, so it’s not surprising that I found a Railway Pudding recipe amongst her collection.

I’m not sure of the origins of this pudding but I have found references to this in various places such as .  Several versions between 1867 and 1902 are highlighted and described as a recipe ‘based around a plain, sweet, raised batter, boiled or baked and spread (or filled) with a conserve’.

A further reference comes in The Memories of Mr Seel’s Garden  - a project between 2011 and 2013 which explored the potential for using community-based heritage projects to look at more sustainable ways of life.  It includes a collection of recipes some of which come from  The Liverpool School of Cookery Recipe Book (1911). This book was described as being “most valuable to young housekeepers, containing recipes most needed under all conditions and circumstances of everyday life”. Grandma’s recipe resembles this one quite closely.

Railway Pudding

1 cupful plain flour

2 tsps baking powder

1 small cupful sugar

2 eggs beaten

¾ cupful milk

Raspberry Jam

Mix the flour, baking powder and sugar together. Beat the eggs with the milk. Mix all well together. Put in a greased Yorkshire Pudding tin and bake in a quick oven for 20 minutes. (375F, Mark 5, 190C). When it’s done, spread the jam over it and roll it up like a Swiss Roll. Serve with custard, cream or milk. It is nice eaten hot or cold.

Meryl’s tips : I used approx. 4oz(110g) for a cup equivalent, 3oz (75g) for a small cup and 120 ml for a ¾ cup equivalent. I used a Swiss roll type tin – large and oblong. 

I found another version of Railway Pudding with cooking apples instead of jam which would make a good alternative. Enjoy going on a Railway journey with this pudding!

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