The recipe has been found in a vegetarian cookbook dated to 1833.
The book “Vegetable cookery, with an introduction, recommending “abstinence from animal food and
intoxicating liquors” was written by Martha Brotherton the wife of Joseph Brotherton, MP for Salford who was a founder of the Vegetarian Society.
The recipe, numbered 1280 in the book, is to be found in the appendix on page 414 in the fourth edition.
The author must have just discovered the recipe as it does not appear in the earlier, third, edition of the book dated 1830.
A claim that the earliest recipe for Bakewell Pudding from 1826 which appeared in an 1846 publication has been disputed on the grounds that no checks for the recipe were made in any earlier published editions.
This 1833 recipe, which must be based on an earlier version of the recipe, bears little resemblance to the usual Bakewell Pudding.
It states: “Take the yolks of four eggs and the whites of two well beaten, a quarter of a pound of butter melted, two ounces of almonds chopped or beaten fine, loaf-sugar to the taste, two good mealy potatoes boiled, well dried, and mashed fine.
“Cover a shallow dish with good puff paste, spread a thin layer of fruit jam, or marmalade, then pour in the mixture and bake it.”