Joe’s R&D Department

So I’ve been asked to contribute a pastry recipe to a cookbook that’s coming out next year, on the subject of local and regional foods. Very flattering. Except not being from Kentucky (at least originally) I don’t have anything like that handy, not that I’ve developed myself. Sure I could try and do some new riff on Derby Pie, though that’s been done a gazillion times, at least around here. And anyway the name is trademarked. No, I think something a bit more original is called for.

The trouble is that being a rather poor state historically, Kentucky doesn’t exactly have a longstanding pastry tradition. Make no mistake there are plenty of biscuits, cornbreads, pies and cobblers, things of that nature, but other than that I know of very little that’s distinctively Kentucky. There is of course the stack cake, but unfortunately the Lee Bros., who took over the world this year, included a stack cake recipe in their James Beard award-winning Southern Cookbook. I’d hate to be seen as derivative!

Yet there is one Kentucky dessert item out there that isn’t very well known. A rather plain jane concoction by the name of “Woodford Pudding” that came to my attention a few years ago. As you can see from scanning the recipe, there’s nothing very distinctive about it. Pretty much just a run-of-the-mill jam cake, sometimes served with meringue on top. I dunno about you, but I think it could use an update. Of course I need to make it first to see what I’m dealing with. Being a methodical type, I’ll start with #1. Stay tuned for future installments, and by all means, if you have any ideas along the way, please feel free to submit them.

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