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Recipe book rewrites pudding history

An ancient cookery book bought by the county council has changed history for the Bakewell Pudding.

The local pudding was always widely believed to have been invented in the 1860s, but archivists at Derbyshire County Council’s Record Office in Matlock have discovered a recipe dated 1837.

The recipe was found in a cookery book written by Clara Palmer-Morewood, a member of one of Derbyshire’s historic landowning families.

It is now on display to the public at the record office, along with other recipe books dating back to the 1600s.

Derbyshire County Council leader and cabinet member for culture Councillor Andrew Lewer said: “The date makes it a very special recipe as it is one of the earliest written references to the famous local dish, popularly accepted to have been invented in the 1860s.

“There are mentions of it much earlier, but this appears to be the first time the recipe is documented.”

Archives manager Sarah Chubb made the pudding for staff to try. She said: “It was delicious and very easy to make.

“Given that it has its own mythology surrounding it, discovering what could be the earliest dated recipe is brilliant for us.

“That is the great joy of delving into Derbyshire’s archives − you never know what you will find.”

Other recipes in the book include a toothache cure, which includes tincture of opium among its ingredients; Spanish fritters made with cream, sugar and nutmeg, a lobster curry; a cure for dogs troubled with a snort; worm powders; lozenges for heartburn and cures for gout, dropsy and “weakness”.


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