This is a bonus recipe for the Working Class Dinner challenge, it’s a dessert which, like the potato pudding, is based on a root vegetable. Carrot Puddings have a much longer history that I ever would have thought, and the Carrot Museum has collected recipes through the centuries that makes for very interesting reading. The recipe that I chose comes from the Lady’s Column of the Australasian newspaper in 1869.
Baked Carrot Pudding.—Take three quarters of a pound of carrots, half a pound of breadcrumbs, a quarter of a pound of raisins,four ounces of suet, a quarter of a pound of currants, three ounces of loaf sugar, three eggs, some nutmeg, and a little milk. Boil and pulp the carrots, add to them the breadcrumbs, the raisins stoned, the suet chopped very fine, a little nutmeg, and three ounces of sugar pounded; well beat the eggs, and add them to a sufficient quantity of milk to make the ingredients into a thick batter, then put it into a buttered pie-dish and bake it. When done, turn it out and sift sugar over it.
Like its potato counterpart, this recipe is cheap, quick and uses up left-overs. It’s all about making the most of the natural sweetness of the carrots and the dried fruit, bulked out with stale breadcrumbs.
Baked Carrot Pudding
340g carrots, peeled and chopped
230g breadcrumbs, freshly made from stale bread is best
115g suet, fresh if you can get it but the suet sold in boxes in the supermarket also works
1/2 tsp nutmeg
3 eggs, beaten
Sugar, to serve
- Heat the oven to 180˚C. Grease a pie or casserole dish very well. Boil the carrots until very soft, then mash them until smooth.
- Combine the breadcrumbs, suet, dried fruit, sugar and nutmeg in a large mixing bowl. Add the carrots and the beaten eggs. Stir well, then add enough milk to make a thick batter, thicker than cake batter.
- Pour the batter into the prepared dish and bake for 45 minutes, or until golden and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. When it’s done allow it to cool a little, but while still warm very carefully turn it out onto a plate. You may need to carefully run a knife around the edge of the dish. Serve warm, sprinkled with sugar.
The Recipe: Baked Carrot Pudding from the Australasian newspaper(available here)
The Date: 1869
How did you make it? See above.
Time to complete?: About an 1 hr 15.
How successful was it?: Surprisingly tasty, like a very thick carrot cake. It wasn’t overly sweet, but the little bursts of sweetness provided by the currants and raisins were very popular with my taste testers. They also liked it with the very non-historically accurate Greek yoghurt, but because it can be a bit dry it probably is a good idea to serve it with cream or something similar.
How accurate?: Fresh suet would have been better but I was trying to use up some of the ingredients in my mum’s larder, and I think that that is well within the mindset of a Victorian working class cook.
 “RECIPES.,” The Australasian, March 6, 1869.
“RECIPES.” The Australasian. March 6, 1869.