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London Pie (spiced beef) London Pudding (vegetarian sweet pudding made from stale cake)

Updated on September 06, 2016
London Pie (without the tomato topping)
London Pie (without the tomato topping)
London Pie shop
London Pie shop
London Pudding (with meringue topping)
London Pudding (with meringue topping)

Both the pie and pudding are unusual dishes eaten widely in London, particularly east and south. They dates back many decades and it’s out of the ordinary combination of ingredients could be varied to take account of what you had left in the larder. Give it a try, most people are pleasantly surprised and it is an authentic taste of 1950s London and earlier. There is a vegetarian version of London Pudding and another based on scraps.

London Pie


1lb extra lean minced beef or trimmings from the butcher and home minced.

1 large onion, peeled and grated

1 coarsely chopped cooking apple (you could use an eating apple but they tend to break up)

1 tablespoon sultanas or stoned raisins

1/8 pint stock (beef or vegetable or use a cube)

2lb potatoes, peeled, cooked and mashed

1 dessertspoon curry powder

Fresh tomatoes cut in half

Cooking Method

Mix the meat together with the curry powder, onion, apple, sultanas and stock and put into a square oven-proof dish. Spoon or pipe the mashed potato on top in squares like a chessboard. -In the spaces left between the squares, put a half tomato cut side upwards and cook for 1 hour at 375 degrees F.

Very often London Pudding was the dessert to follow a meal of home-made soup and London Pie. This is even older and dates from the Great War

London Pudding.

This first recipe is a vegetarian (not vegan) version.


2 oz. of Allinson steamed cooked oats (or Quaker quick oats)

1 large tablespoonful of granulated sugar,

½ pint of whole milk,

1 oz of unsalted butter

1 pint of custard made from Allinson or Birds custard powder (or if in a hurry you could use tinned custard.)

Cooking method

Boil the milk gently with the oats, butter, sugar, for 15 minutes, then pour into a pie-dish and add to the mixture 1 pint of pre-made custard, stir carefully, and bake for 1 ½ or 2 hours; let it stand for a short time before serving.

Note: A word on cooking time. This recipe was designed for cooking on an old fashioned range where temperatures could not be pre-set. I think it may need some experimentation and would suggest perhaps 350deg F.

London Pudding.

This second recipe is not vegetarian but is a wartime one using stale buns.


Stale buns or cakes

Raspberry or Strawberry jam (home-made or one with a setting problem is good)

1½oz grated suet or vegetarian suet to turn the dish into suitable for vegetarian.

2 large free-range eggs (or powered whole egg)

1 dessertspoon granulated sugar (or whatever you have surplus)

¾ pint whole milk (or dried milk reconstituted)

Cooking method

Cut the buns in half (or cakes) and spread with a little jam; make into sandwiches and lay at the bottom of a pie-dish and sprinkle with a little grated suet. beat up two eggs with one dessertspoonful of sugar and three-quarters of a pint of milk. Pour over the buns and bake in a moderate oven. (325-350deg F)

London Pudding

This third recipe, although called a pudding includes pastry which, strictly speaking, makes it a tart.


Ready-made puff pastry

¼ lb. of Apricot Jam,

7 Sponge Finger biscuits,

½ tablespoonful of plain Flour,

1 oz. of unsalted Butter,

½pint of whole Milk,

1 unwaxed Lemon,

2 large free-range eggs

Granulated sugar

Cooking method

Line a greased pudding-dish with puff paste and spread on a thick layer of apricot jam, then a layer of sponge biscuits.

Mix together ½ tablespoonful of flour and 1 oz. of butter in a saucepan, boil ½pint of milk and pour it on the flour and butter. Add sugar to taste and the grated rind of a lemon. Stir over the heat till as thick as cream, then cool a little and add the beaten yolks of two eggs and beat all well together. Then pour on the cakes.

Beat the whites to a stiff froth and spread over the pudding. Bake for at least ½hour in a moderate oven.(375deg F) making sure you do not burn the meringue top. Put in fridge or on cold shelf and serve cold.

© 2013 Peter Geekie


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    • peachpurple profile image

      peachy 3 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      Yummy London pie. We don't have such pie in Malaysia. Good thing that I found your hub. Could whip up some pies for afternoon tea time. Great with hot beverages. Thanks for sharing and voted up

    • Peter Geekie profile image

      Peter Geekie 3 years ago from Sittingbourne

      Dear peachpurple,

      Thank you for your kind comments and I'm glad you like the idea of London pie. It's strange, isn't it, that I live in London yet like Malay and Asian foods.

      kind regards Peter

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