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Reading about the current search for the definite recipe for Dundee Cake, so that it can get a ‘protected name status’ from the EU, reminds me of a puzzle I think I’ll never solve. Does anyone still make something that my grandmother called ‘Eastbourne Pudding’, and where does the recipe come from? Does it have another name?

Eastbourne Pudding involved slicing a few large bananas (not too ripe) in half or thirds (depending on size)  then lengthways down the middle. You spread the halves of banana with raspberry jam and put them in a serving bowl. On top, you pour about a pint of white custard (i.e. sweetened milk, thickened with cornflour). When that’s cooled, you pour over half a pint of single cream on the top, and just let the cream find its way wherever it wants to go, but make sure you get plenty when you serve the pudding.

It’s so simple, yet I remember it being gorgeous – no-one should be allowed to eat single cream like this, but here you had licence. My grandmother (who was a domestic science teacher, and taught me most of what I know about cooking) said they called it Eastbourne Pudding only because they had it at a guesthouse in Eastbourne when they went their on holiday as children, so it’s not the Eastbourne Pudding in this old book.

So does anyone else have memories of this pudding in their family, in Eastbourne, or anywhere else? Is it just a name for something else that has a proper name? I have a feeling I will never know.

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Jonathan Still, ballet pianist