In my quest to search out old Devonshire recipes, I have been wondering what is a Devonshire dumpling?
Clearly a name for girls from Devon, I recall my grandfather, a Londoner himself, referring to the girl he later married (my grandmother) as his Devonshire dumpling, in his infamous stories.
However, what about the recipe – I’ve searched and I’ve asked..and I’m still not really sure. My dad remembers they used to have a steamed suet dumpling served with the roast. Devon’s answer to the Yorkshire pudding. Serving the same purpose too – there would not be enough meat to fill you up, but a suet pudding would do the job. Dad says it was served with the main course, but he would have his slice saved to have with syrup later.
In modern times, it does not really rate as a health food!
I improvised a recipe, based on one I found in Mrs Beeton’s book, and as described by my Dad. It was a lot of fun wrapping it in the cloth and making a round pudding rather than a basin shaped one, and made me think of Dickens’s description of plum puddings cooked in the boiler. Very olde worlde.
Is it the real thing? the actual Devonshire dumpling? I don’t know, but served with roast leg of mutton, gravy, french beans, roast potatoes and garlic cabbage, it went down a treat.