Tuesday 11 January 2011

The Grimwade Perfection Patent Pie Dish

One of my favourite cooking items is an old oval stoneware pie dish, inherited from my parents. They found it a convenient size for a meal for two - a cottage pie, say, or a rice pudding. The dish is a little knocked about, but still serviceable. It has every right to show its age, which could be as much as a century - it's a Grimwade Perfection Patent pie dish, as it says in a bold but slightly fuzzy transfer on the underside. Furthermore, this dish is "grooved at bottom with 4 vents for air passage to prevent burning at bottom". A patent number follows which could indicate that the patent was taken out in 1908.

"Messrs. Grimwade Brothers established their Winton Pottery (Stoke) in about 1886. A wide range of useful and decorative earthenware was produced."
From: Jewitts 'Ceramic Art of Great Britain 1800-1900'.
After 1900 the firm was known as Grimwade Ltd, becoming Royal Winton in 1995.

Little seems to be known about Grimwades's utilitarian items, even though they are not at all uncommon on Ebay and other auction sites. Sellers seem cagy about attributing a date to their items. In addition to the pie dish, I have seen a pie funnel, a "hygienic drainer", a jelly mould and a pudding basin, labelled "art deco" or "20s - 30s". All bear the "Grimwade Perfection" blazon pointing out their unique features with instructions for their use. There is also a Grimwade Perfection Patent "female urinal" - a bedpan.

The "Quick cooker" steamer pudding bowl is particularly ornate, as it has several features designed to improve hygiene and reduce cooking time. An internal funnel allows steam to circulate through the middle of the pudding and cook it from the inside as well as the outside. The cover is grooved to hold strings so the cover and bowl can be tied closely together. The cook is exhorted, after filling the bowl and before putting the cover on, to place a small piece of pastry or dough in the hollow around the neck of the funnel. This will form a seal once steaming commences, eliminating the need for a pudding bag. Inside the cover you find advertisements for several other products, although unsurprisingly not the bedpan. As you might guess, I want one!

The next three pictures [from an eBay auction] show the marvellous "Quick Cooker" pudding bowl.


Unknown said...

Hi - I have a Grimwade pudding basin but have not been able to find any recipes for it. It is supposed to speed up the cooking, but my few attempts have not been very successful Do you have any recipes to share - or can you tell me where to find some? This is the first time I have seen your blog but I think I will be visiting again in the future.
Pat from Montreal

Pollygarter said...

Pat: I'm afraid I don't have any recipes that I've actually tried, but any steamed pudding recipe from about 1900 to 1940 would probably do! Perhaps something like a steak and kidney pudding with a suet crust.

Unknown said...

Pollygarter: Thanks. I think the recipes I have been trying have been too modern. I'll experiment with my father's old cookbook from 1946.