Whenever I go anywhere abroad, I like to search out the local speciality, but I rarely do the same when at home. Which is why, armed with my edition of the Sussex Recipe Book by MK Samuelson (first published in 1937 and republished in 2005), I decided to recreate two traditional Sussex favourites.
First up, was this easy-looking pie, the recipe for which originally came from Good Things in England (first published in 1932 but containing recipes dating back to the 14th century!). The recipe goes like this with my edits:
6 oz (about 170 g) – shortcrust pastry
½ lb – cooked apples
3 oz (85 g) – sugar
2 oz (60 g) – currants
½ tsp – cinnamon
½ tsp – mixed spice
Line a fan ring or pie plate with the pastry and fill with all the ingredients listed above and cover with a crust. Bake for ½ to ¾ hr in a moderate oven.
Sussex Hogs Pudding
This recipe was supplied by EM Sennick of Hailsham, and was published in Sussex County Magazine in 1931. The recipe goes like this:
“Mix together the following: flour, 1 lb; currants, 10 oz; fat pork, chopped fine, 11 oz; allspice, 2 oz; moist sugar, 2 handfuls; salt, one third teaspoon; nutmeg, ditto. Pour over the whole enough boiling water to make a very stiff dough, and boil quite 4 hours or more. Turn out of cloth when quite cold, or keep in cloth till required.”
This took a bit more translating into the modern-day and we used pork belly as to the nearest easy equivalent to fat pork. It’s fair to say things can get a bit messy if you’re relying on the natural binding of the ingredients rather than using a skin or cloth. A muslin cloth is ideal (my mother used to use old Terry’s nappies (old in the sense that they dated back to the 1960s/70s, not old as in re-used!) or you can buy sausage casing or skins to make life easier!