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A two-crust pie with an almond custard filling and a thin layer of raspberry jam, this dish was a speciality of the Swan Hotel, Stafford and the original recipe is dated 10th October 1838. This pie is not well known outside Staffordshire, but it ought to be! A certain Roland Warburton dedicated a poem to the pudding to hail the triumph of the dish:
Line the dish with thinnest paste,
Raspberry jam upon it place
Freshest eggs in beated state,
Whites of two and yolks of eight.
With lump of sugar pounded fine,
Butter melted must combine.
Half a pound of each apply
Flavour’d well with almonds dry.
Mix the whole, let it be,
Pour’d upon the raspberry.
Oven slowly heat and in it
Bake the dish for 90 minute.
Sound the trumpets, beat the drums,
Smoking hot the pudding comes!
Yeomen stout prepare to strike
Feasting, fighting, both alike,
Silver spoon instead of sword,
Brandish’d at the Lichfield board;
Napkin for a standard spread,
Wav’d in triumph overhead,
Sugar far excels saltpetre,
Raspberries than bullets sweeter.
Puddings slash’d instead of foemen;
Cut away, my Stafford Yeomen!
8 oz (225g) shortcrust pastry
4 oz (100 g) cold butter, cut into small pieces
4 oz (100 g) caster sugar
3 oz (75 g) raspberry jam
2 oz (50 g) ground almonds
4 drops of almond essence
4 egg yolks
3 egg whites
Preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C.
Roll out ⅔ of the dough and fit it into a pie plate. Spoon in the jam and spread it evenly over the pastry base.
For the filling: melt the butter in a pan and pour onto the sugar, egg yolks and whites, almonds and almond essence. Beat well then pour the custard filling on top of the jam and smooth it out.
Roll the remaining piece of dough into a circle and top the filling with it. Crimp down around the edges to seal the two crusts together. Cut some slits in the top crust. (You can brush the top crust with a little egg wash to improve browning if you wish).
Bake in the preheated oven for about 40 minutes or until the crust is golden.
Cool on a wire rack for at least 20-25 minutes before cutting and serving.
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Three personal photograph albums belonging to Major T H Gardner have been digitised to allow online visitors to view a poignant and evocative collection of photos from WW2.