Pease Pudden

So what is the seasonal recipe connection? This time of year was referred to as “the hungry gap” by country folk. The time when most of the winter veg has been consumed and before the spring ones are ready for cutting. Indeed some of the companies that have set up an organic veg box service do not deliver at this time of year due to the lack of produce. There is even a specially named veg, “hungry gap kale”, which is one of the few brassicas that can survive into late March. Kale soup was a staple food in many a humble cottage come February. So this was the a period that relied on the dried, bottled or salted produce stashed away in larders. And this included dried peas.

Ingredients - serves 6

1 lb (450g) yellow split peas 1 teaspoon ground cumin
2oz (50g) butter ½ teaspoon chilli powder
1 egg Salt and pepper
2 teaspoons granulated sugar  


  1. Put the split peas in a pan and cover with 2 pints (1.1 lt) of water.
  2. Bring to the boil and simmer until the peas are soft (30 - 40 mins).
  3. Remove from the heat and mash to a purée.
  4. Stir in the remaining ingredients and mix well.
  5. Spoon into a buttered 2 pint pudding basin.
  6. Cover with a lid of double thickness pleated greaseproof paper, then with a double thickness of pleated foil. Tie securely.
  7. Place in a large lidded saucepan and pour in enough boiling water to come halfway up the basin.
  8. Cover the pan and steam for one hour, topping up with boiling water as needed.
  9. Turn out the pudding on to a plate.

This can be served with roast meats, sausages and of course faggots. Having now tried this recipe and tasted Pease Pudden again I have found that it also makes a very good accompaniment to another traditional British dish. Curry!


Yellow Split Peas