The Platinum Pudding

Fortnum & Mason launched a nationwide competition to find a pudding to celebrate The Queen in her Platinum Jubilee year. Entries for this have now closed but being that Mrs Beeton spent years living in Epsom and even learnt her pastry making skills here, we couldn’t resist a pudding theme and some local factoids.

Mrs Beeton, journalist, editor and writer, is particularly associated with her first book, the 1861 Mrs Beeton’s Book of Household Management. She lived at Epsom Downs Racecourse due to her step father being Clerk of the Course. She also lived in a house on the corner of Upper High St and Church St – where Dreams bed shop is now located. She married Samuel Orchart Beeton, an ambitious publisher and magazine editor in July 1856 at St Martin’s Church, Epsom, It was Samuel who encouraged his wife to ‘write’ one of the world’s first cookbooks – to be published by his company. Mrs Beeton was one of the world’s first big brands and was hugely influential in telling Victorians how to run their houses. She was also a bit of a fraud, she plagiarised most of her recipes and simply packaged them together to publish them.

Mrs Beeton, far from being a rotund, senior, Victorian cook was a businesswoman, she died at the young age of 29 and there are lots of theories about what might have led to her death.

In her famous book there are puddings for all occasions. Below are just a few of her recipes. Do have a go at making one and send us your pictures – let us know what they are like – we’re not convinced by the ingredients in some of them!


BARONESS PUDDING Named after The Baroness de Teissier of Woodcote Park, Epsom

Ingredients.: ¾ lb. of suet, ¾ lb. of raisins weighed after being stoned, ¾ lb. of flour,½ pint of milk, ¼ spoonful of salt.
Method. Prepare the suet, by carefully freeing it from skin, and chop it finely; stone the raisins, and cut them in halves, and mix both these ingredients with the salt and flour; moisten the whole with the above proportion of milk, stir the mixture well, and tie the pudding in a floured cloth, which has been previously wrung out in boiling water. Put the pudding into a saucepan of boiling water, and let it boil, without ceasing, 4-½ hours. Serve merely with plain sifted sugar, a little of which may be sprinkled over the pudding.
Time: 4-½ hours. Average cost: 1s. 4d.
Sufficient: for 7 or 8 persons.


Ingredients.—1 pint of milk, 3 tablespoons of rice, 1½ tablespoons of sugar, salt, nutmeg.

Method.—Pick and wash the rice, place it in a greased pie dish, add the sugar, milk, and a small pinch of salt. Sprinkle the surface lightly with nutmeg, and bake in a slow oven for about 2 hours.

Time.—About 2 hours. Average Cost, 3d. Sufficient for 3 or 4 persons.

Note.—Skim milk, and ½ an oz. of butter, or a level tablespoonful of finely-chopped suet, may be used instead of the new milk.


Ingredients.—Raspberry jam, ½ a lb. of breadcrumbs, ¼ of a lb. of castor sugar, ¼ of a lb. of butter, 3 eggs, brown breadcrumbs.

Method.—Cream the butter and sugar together until thick and smooth, beat in the eggs separately, and add the breadcrumbs. Have ready a well-buttered plain mould, coat it completely with brown breadcrumbs, place a layer of the preparation on the bottom, and cover it thickly with jam, taking care that it does not touch the sides of the mould. Repeat until the mould is full, letting the mixture form the top layer. Bake in a moderate oven from 1 to 1¼ hours, and serve with custard or other suitable sauce.

Time.—From 1½ to 1¾ hours. Average Cost, 1s. 2d. Sufficient for 5 or 6 persons.