Regional Recipes: Pease Pudding

February 12, 2015

As a child I was very familiar with the nursery rhyme about pease pudding and indeed what child isn’t. The rhyme goes:

Pease pudding hot, pease pudding cold,
Pease pudding in the pot, nine days old;
Some like it hot, some like it cold,
Some like it in the pot, nine days old.

and is often sung as part of a clapping and singing game. It was not until I moved to the North East that I became familiar with pease pudding. It is a simple dish of boiled yellow split peas, eaten hot or cold. Usually found served with ham in stotties (large bread rolls) or alongside boiled gammon. The simple earthy sweetness of the peas is a wonderful complement to the salty ham.
Pease PuddingThe dish is born from poverty, the peas often being cooked in the same pot as the ham or bacon. The stock adding a subtle flavour to the finished dish. There is almost a magic in watching the split peas transform from their hard yellow roundness to a soft slushy paste that can be spread on bread. It is a dish that is cooked slowly, the cooking time depends on the freshness of the peas. It can take anything from ninety minutes to two hours.

Pease puddingExtra water can be added if needed, the finished consistency should be like wallpaper paste. Thick and easily spread. Pease pudding can be picked up in pots in the supermarket these days, but home made is much tastier. The recipe makes a big bowlful which can be enjoyed all week. I served mine with roast gammon and red cabbage but there was plenty left for sandwiches.

Pease PuddingTo make a more luxurious meal the ham can be served with a marmalade glaze. An ideal meal for a Sunday afternoon. If there are any split peas left over you can use them to make a hearty warming soup. Ham and split pea soup and Scotch broth both call out for the addition of split peas and are perfect soups for colder days.

Pease puddingIf you have not tried pease pudding you definitely should, it adds another dimension to a sandwich.

Pease Pudding Recipe

Pease Pudding
Author: Alison
  • 200 g yellow split peas
  • 750 ml water
  • 1 vegetable stock cube
  • 1 onion
  1. Rinse the split peas until the water becomes clear
  2. Peel the onion and add to the pan whole
  3. Add the split peas to the pan with the water
  4. Simmer until the peas are tender, about 90 minutes but it could be more.
  5. If you need to add more water do, the consistency should be that of wallpaper paste
  6. Remove the onion and mush the peas with a wooden spoon.
  7. Season with salt and black pepper


7 responses to “Regional Recipes: Pease Pudding”

  1. You know what, I knew the rhyme but I never actuau knew what it was. Didn’t have a clue it was split peas. You learn something new every day 🙂

  2. Kim Carberry says:

    Ahhh I love ham & Pease pudding sandwiches….I always have a tub in the fridge. I’ve never tried making it myself x

  3. Galina V says:

    Your plate looks so mouth-watering, I really want some ham with pease pudding now. I’ll try to join the linky this month. I have a recipe in mind, but it’s a very short month. 🙂

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