THE food bank in Devizes is being given a helping hand from donations made each time someone orders a Marlborough pie at Rick Stein in the eponymous town.

"People are enjoying it," said sous chef Mo Farham, "and because 50p goes to the food bank customers like that. It should become the town's dish."

The apple pie and custard dessert has been on the menu since Rick Stein rediscovered the recipe dating to the early 17th century last year.

Settlers from Wiltshire took the recipe with them to New England where it remains popular whereas here the pudding fell out of fashion or simply became known as apple pie.

Whether 17th century Moonrakers would recognise the modern take on the pudding is open to question. The short crust pastry apple and egg custard pie is infused with fino sherry, cinnamon and nutmeg and topped with meringue and served with custard, butterscotch sauce and cream or ice cream.

The pie is made in Cornwall and delivered to Marlborough for finishing.