Peach Snowballs

Peach Snowballs, recipe from 1895

I made these peach snowballs months and months ago, but never quite got around to writing up the recipe. We’ve talked before about Mina Lawson’s The Antipodean Cookery Book when I made potato corks. Just like the potato corks, these peach snowballs are all about fast, cheap and filling food; they only have three ingredients after all!

The Recipe

Recipes like this one are known from the late 18th century and continue to appear throughout the 19th century. Nearly all are balls of rice wrapped around an apple, or apple pieces, but some are more unusual. Rachel Snell has written about snowballs in the context of 19th century class concerns and budget constraints[1]. She has suggested that the rice versions may be a variation on earlier dumpling recipes which use pastry rather than rice. Another possible forerunner of the snowball might be something like the recipe for ‘A cheap Rice Pudding’ from The Whole Duty of a Woman[2]. This recipe calls for the rice to be mixed with raisins then gathered in a pudding cloth and boiled.

Yet another variation is to omit the apple and a recipe for this appears in the Canadian book The Frugal Housewife’s Manual, where we are instructed to simply form balls of rice and serve them with a sauce[3]. A similar recipe appears in an 1895 Australian newspaper, however these snowballs are moulded in cups rather than being boiled in a cloth[4]. Interestingly, this is followed by a recipe for ‘Apple Dumplings’ which are clearly the same as ‘Snowballs’.

Yet in all these recipes, except for the one with raisins and a single Eliza Acton recipe which uses oranges[5], the fruit is always apples. This makes the following recipe for peach snowballs in The Antipodean Cookery Book rather unusual.

“Peach Snowballs: – Ingredients: 1 pound of rice, some sugar, 6 peaches. Mode: Throw the rice into a saucepan of boiling water and let it boil from five to seven minutes. Drain it, and when it has cooled spread it in equal parts on six small pudding cloths. Peel the peaches carefully, coat them thickly with sugar and place one in the centre of each layer of rice; gather the cloth round and securely tie it. Then plunge these puddings into boiling water, and when done turn them out, sprinkle with sugar, and serve with a sweet sauce over them. Time, one hour and a half to boil.”[6]

Peach Snowballs, recipe from 1895

The Redaction

As I’m sure you’ve already figured out from the picture above, I had a lot of difficulty getting the rice to form a nice smooth ball around the peaches. Kevin Carter over at Savoring the Past has an excellent article about apple snowballs, and it includes a video which you might want to watch if you are going to give this recipe a go. He also recommends using medium grained sticky rice, and that might be better than the long grained rice that I used.

Peach Snowballs

For 2 snowballs

150g rice

Sugar

2 peaches

  1. Bring a saucepan of water to the boil and add the rice. Boil for 5-7 minutes. Drain the rice and allow to cool slightly.
  2. Carefully peel the peaches and roll them in sugar until evenly covered.
  3. Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil.
  4. Cut a piece of calico into 2 squares with sides about 20cm long. Place half the drained rice into the middle of each square and spread it out in a circle. Place the peach in the middle and gather the four corners of the cloth at the top. Use your hands to spread the rice around the peach and when it seems to be evenly covered tie off the cloth.
  5. Place the balls into the boiling water and boil for an hour and a half.

Peach Snowballs, recipe from 1895

The Round-Up

The Recipe: Peach Snowballs from The Antipodean Cookery Book by Mrs Lance Rawson

The Date: 1895

How did you make it? See above.

Time to complete?: 2 hours.

How successful was it?: The peach was delicious, but the rice fell apart around  and was so watery that it didn’t taste very good.

How accurate?: I’m not sure what type of rice Mrs Lawson would have used, I used what I had on hand and maybe it was the wrong type since it didn’t hold together well.

[1] Rachel A Snell, “Snowballs: Intermixing Gentility and Frugality in Nineteenth Century Baking,” The Recipes Project, August 13, 2015, http://recipes.hypotheses.org/category/family-and-household.

[2] Anonymous, The Whole Duty of a Woman, Or, An Infallible Guide to the Fair Sex: Containing Rules, Directions, and Observations, for Their Conduct and Behavior Through All Ages and Circumstances of Life, as Virgins, Wives, Or Widows : With … Rules and Receipts in Every Kind of Cookery … (London: Printed for T. Read in Dogwell Court, White-Fryers, Fleet Street, 1737), 476.

[3] A.B of Grimsby, The Frugal Housewife’s Manual : Containing a Number of Useful Receipts, Carefully Selected, and Well Adapted to the Use of Families in General : To Which Are Added Plain and Practical Directions for the Cultivation and Management of Some of the Most Useful Culinary Vegetables (Toronto: s.n., 1840), 9, http://eco.canadiana.ca/view/oocihm.90013/13?r=0&s=1.

[4] “SOME RICE RECIPES.,” Leader, June 15, 1895.

[5] Eliza Acton, Modern Cookery, in All Its Branches: Reduced to a System of Easy Practice, for the Use of Private Families. In a Series of Receipts, Which Have Been Strictly Tested, and Are Given with the Most Minute Exactness (Lea and Blanchard, 1845), 282.

[6] Mrs. Lance Rawson, The Antipodean Cookery Book and Kitchen Companion (Kenthurst, NSW: Kangaroo Press, n.d.), 64.

Peach Snowballs, recipe from 1895

Bibliography

A.B of Grimsby. The Frugal Housewife’s Manual : Containing a Number of Useful Receipts, Carefully Selected, and Well Adapted to the Use of Families in General : To Which Are Added Plain and Practical Directions for the Cultivation and Management of Some of the Most Useful Culinary Vegetables. Toronto: s.n., 1840. http://eco.canadiana.ca/view/oocihm.90013/13?r=0&s=1.

Acton, Eliza. Modern Cookery, in All Its Branches: Reduced to a System of Easy Practice, for the Use of Private Families. In a Series of Receipts, Which Have Been Strictly Tested, and Are Given with the Most Minute Exactness. Lea and Blanchard, 1845.

Anonymous. The Whole Duty of a Woman, Or, An Infallible Guide to the Fair Sex: Containing Rules, Directions, and Observations, for Their Conduct and Behavior Through All Ages and Circumstances of Life, as Virgins, Wives, Or Widows : With … Rules and Receipts in Every Kind of Cookery … London: Printed for T. Read in Dogwell Court, White-Fryers, Fleet Street, 1737.

Rawson, Mrs. Lance. The Antipodean Cookery Book and Kitchen Companion. Kenthurst, NSW: Kangaroo Press, n.d.

Snell, Rachel A. “Snowballs: Intermixing Gentility and Frugality in Nineteenth Century Baking.” The Recipes Project, August 13, 2015. http://recipes.hypotheses.org/category/family-and-household.

“SOME RICE RECIPES.” Leader. June 15, 1895.

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Bonus recipe: A Carrot Pudding

IMG_4279

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.[1]

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.

Carrot pudding, recipe from 1869

The Redaction

Baked Carrot Pudding

340g carrots, peeled and chopped

230g breadcrumbs, freshly made from stale bread is best

115g raisins

115g suet, fresh if you can get it but the suet sold in boxes in the supermarket also works

115g currants

90g sugar

1/2 tsp nutmeg

3 eggs, beaten

Milk

Sugar, to serve

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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 Round-Up

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.

[1] “RECIPES.,” The Australasian, March 6, 1869.

Carrot pudding, recipe from 1869

Bibliography

“RECIPES.” The Australasian. March 6, 1869.

Last Lunch on the Titanic

Last year whilst in Belfast I visited the Titanic Quarter. Not many people realise it but Belfast claims the honour of having built the Titanic, and at the heart of the recently rejuvenated docks like Titanic Belfast. Part museum, part artwork, part monument to Belfast’s working class history, it’s a great way to pass a few drizzly hours in the city.

Titanic Luncheon Menu

Included in the exhibition is a remarkable object, a menu from the last lunch served on the Titanic. The 1st Class menu was taken from the sinking ship in the handbag of one Mrs. Dodge who escaped in a lifeboat with her son. Her husband also found a spot in a lifeboat, thanks to the steward Frederic Ray whose compliments can be found on the back of the menu.

 

The luncheon menu contains some 40 dishes for diners to choose from, and unfortunately making all of them was a bit beyond my budget. Instead I made a small selection which you can see in my own menu below.

 IMG_3875Titanic Luncheon Menu by Turnspit and Table

 

The Recipes

 

All the recipes are from American cookbooks and I tried to keep them as close chronologically as I could.

 

Cockie Leekie from ‘Mrs Rorer’s New Cook Book’ 1902

 

“1 fowl

2 quarts of water

1/2 pound of prunes

Yolks of two eggs

1 pound of beef marrow bones

2 dozen leeks

2 bay leaves

1 teaspoonful of salt

1 saltspoonful of pepper

 

Purchase the marrow bone from the round; have the butcher saw it into two-inch lengths, making four bones. Draw and truss the fowl; put it into a soup kettle; cover with cold water, bring to boiling point and skim. Add the marrow bones, the bay leaf and pepper;simmer gently for one hour. Add the leeks, neatly trimmed; simmer one hour longer. Add the prunes which have been soaked in water over night, and the salt; bring again to boiling point, and it is ready to serve. Remove the strings from the chicken, dish it in the centre of a large platter, put the prunes around, garnish the edge of the dish with carefully boiled rice, the marrow bones, and the leeks. Strain the soup into a tureen over the well beaten yolks of the eggs, and serve with squares of toasted bread. Serve egg sauce with the chicken. This dish takes the place of both meat and soup.”

 

Notes – I used a lot more water than the two quarts called for, I basically covered the chicken. I also used a lot fewer leeks, only 2 instead of the 2 dozen called for in the recipe. 10 mins before serving I spooned in the dumpling mixture and put the lid on to let them cook. To serve you pour the hot soup over the beaten eggs, forming strings of egg in the soup. I cut pieces of toast into small squares and floated them in the soup. I then served the chicken itself with the second course.

Cockie Leekie Soup

Dumplings from ‘Mrs Rorer’s New Cook Book’ 1902

“Put into a bowl one pint of flour with which you have sifted a rounding teaspoonful of baking powder and a half teaspoonful of salt; add about two-thirds of a cup of milk. Take the bowl and a teaspoon to the side of the fire and drop the mixture all over the top of the stew by teaspoonfuls. Cover the saucepan and cook slowly for ten minutes without lifting the lid. Dish by putting the dumplings around the edge of the platter; the stew in the centre, straining over the sauce; dust with a little chopped parsley, and send at once to the table.

Notes – I dropped large teaspoonfuls into the soup about 10 mins before serving and then served them with the boiled chicken. To be honest I didn’t like the mushy texture and lack of flavour.”

Cockie Leekie Chicken

Chicken à la Maryland from ‘The Boston Cooking-School Cook Book’ 1896

 

Maryland Chicken

“Dress, clean, and cut up two chickens. Sprinkle with salt and pepper,dip in flour, egg, and crumbs, place in a well-greased dripping-pan, and bake twenty minutes in a hot oven, basting after first five minutes of cooking with one-third cup melted butter. Arrange on platter and pour over two cups Cream Sauce.”

 

Cream sauce recipe is available here.

 

Notes- This was one of the lovely surprises of the evening. Juicy chicken with a crispy shell it was easy to make and really delicious. I also really liked it served with the cream sauce.

Chicken a la Maryland

Custard Pudding from ‘The Washington Women’s Cookbook’ 1909 (pg 66)

“One pint sweet milk, one cup sifted flour, stir together and cook until thick. When it is cool stir in flour, beaten eggs, two cups sugar and one cup chopped citron. Bake until it sets; serve cold with or without sauce.”

 

Notes – This was another surprise. When I was making it I was very concerned because it’s not a normal custard recipe and the cooked milk and flour was basically glue. I seived it to get rid of the lumps and continued with the recipe (except I replaced the chopped citron with some grated lemon peel) before baking it in a water bath for about 45 mins and it actually turned out very well. Probably better served hot.

Custard Pudding

Apple Meringue from ‘The Boston Cooking-School Cook Book’ 1896

Apple Meringue.

Use Meringue I. and pile lightly on baked apples, brown in oven, cool, and serve with Boiled Custard.
Canned peaches, drained from their liquor, may be prepared in the same way; it is then called Peach Meringue.

Baked Apples.
Wipe and core sour apples. Put in a baking-dish, and fill cavities withsugar and spice. Allow one-half cup sugar and one-fourth teaspooncinnamon or nutmeg to eight apples. If nutmeg is used, a few dropslemon juice and few gratings from rind of lemon to each apple is an improvement. Cover bottom of dish with boiling water, and bake in a hot oven until soft, basting often with syrup in dish. Serve hot or cold with cream. Many prefer to pare apples before baking. When this is done, core before paring, that fruit may keep in shape. In the fall, when apples are at their best, do not add spices to apples, as their flavor cannot be improved; but towards spring they become somewhat tasteless, and spice is an improvement.

Meringue I.

Whites 2 eggs.
2 tablespoons powdered sugar.
1/2 tablespoon lemon juice or
1/4 teaspoon vanilla.
Beat whites until stiff, add sugar gradually and continue beating, then add flavoring.

Notes – This was a bit of a multi-step recipe. You bake the apples first, then make the meringue before scooping the meringue onto the apples and baking again. It was very nice but very, very sweet. I think you could probably refrain from putting sugar on the apples at all, just a little spice.
Apple Meringue

Other Elements

– There were nuts and olives on the table for snacking

– I served baked potatoes, sliced tomato and beetroot with the chicken as per the menu. They also suggested lettuce but I just didn’t have any.

– Small bread rolls can be placed inside the folded napkins.

– Cheese is served with salad, bread or crackers before the dessert (but possibly between the pastry and dessert).

Stilton

Resources

  • ‘Last Dinner on the Titanic’ by Rich Archbold and Dana McCauley
  • For how to set a table I suggest ‘The Butler’s Guide to Running the Home and Other Graces’ by Stanely Auger and Fiona St. Aubyn, although my own table setting was limited by what I had on hand. For more about table settings and serving dinner you can try ‘Dinner is Served’ by Arthur Inch and Arlene Hirst.
  • For table etiquette see ‘The Etiquette of Today’ by Edith B. Ordway (although it is a little late).
  • I folded the napkins into a Bishop’s Hat using these instructions

A Lemon Blancmange

Lemon Blancmange, recipe from 1861

First of all, apologies that it’s been a while, between exams, moving and Christmas its been a bit crazy but better late than never. The challenge this time was “Fear Factor”, no not the TV show but a dish, technique or ingredient that strikes fear into your very heart. For me the obvious answer was calves foot jelly, a moulded jelly made by boiling calves feet for hours to extract the gelatine. Between the ick factor, the sheer amount of effort involved and the scariness of unmoulding a jelly, I’m sure you can understand why this dish has me shaking in my boots.

Unfortunately (or fortunately?) I seriously underestimated how difficult it would be to find calves feet. Thinking about the recipe again though, I realised that the part that really strikes fear into my heart is setting and unmoulding the jelly, and that can certainly be done without extracting my own gelatine. If however you are really keen to learn about calves feet jelly, the amazing blog The Cook and the Curator has a great video about making it from scratch.

The recipe I decided to use comes from Mrs. Beeton’s The Book of Household Management and is for a Lemon Blancmange. Blancmange is a dish with a very long history, but has become almost unrecognisable over time. It’s a staple of medieval and Victorian cookbooks, whether as a white soup made of shredded chicken and almond milk, or an elaborate jelly set with isinglass.

The Recipe

LEMON BLANCMANGE. 1442.

INGREDIENTS.— 1 quart of milk, the yolks of 4 eggs, 3 oz. of ground rice, 6 oz. of pounded sugar, 1-1/2 oz. of fresh butter, the rind of 1 lemon, the juice of 2, 1/2 oz. of gelatine.

Mode.— Make a custard with the yolks of the eggs and 1/2 pint of the milk, and, when done, put it into a basin: put half the remainder of the milk into a saucepan with the ground rice, fresh butter, lemon-rind, and 3 oz. of the sugar, and let these ingredients boil until the mixture is stiff, stirring them continually; when done, pour it into the bowl where the custard is, mixing both well together. Put the gelatine with the rest of the milk into a saucepan, and let it stand by the side of the fire to dissolve; boil for a minute or two, stir carefully into the basin, adding 3 oz. more of pounded sugar. When cold, stir in the lemon-juice, which should be carefully strained, and pour the mixture into a well-oiled mould, leaving out the lemon-peel, and set the mould in a pan of cold water until wanted for table. Use eggs that have rich-looking yolks; and, should the weather be very warm, rather a larger proportion of gelatine must be allowed.

Time.— Altogether, 1 hour. Average cost, 1s. 6d. Sufficient to fill 2 small moulds. Seasonable at any time.[1]

Lemon Blancmange, recipe from 1861

The Redaction

Mrs Beeton’s Lemon Blancmange

4 cups of milk

4 egg yolks

85g ground rice

170g sugar

43g butter

The rind of 1 lemon, peeled

Juice of 2 lemons

14g powdered gelatine
Note: Every time you go to place milk in the saucepan wet it with water first.

  1. Place 1 cup of milk in a saucepan and bring it to a slow simmer. In a large bowl whisk the 4 egg yolks together. Slowly whisk the hot milk into the egg yolks until it is all incorporated. Place the mixture back into the saucepan and cook on a low heat, stirring constantly until it thickens into a custard*.
  2. Place another 1 1/2 cups of milk into the saucepan with the ground rice, half the sugar, the butter and pieces of lemon rind. Boil for 5-10 minutes or until it is stiff and holds its shape. Stir this mixture into the custard.
  3. Place the remaining 1 1/2 cups of milk into the saucepan. Sprinkle the gelatine over the milk and allow it to dissolve. Turn on a low heat and stir until dissolved before bringing it to the boil for 1 minute. Add this and the remaining sugar to the custard.
  4. Allow the mixture to cool before adding the lemon juice and removing the lemon peel. Pour the mixture into moulds greased with a flavourless oil and leave in the fridge to set. To remove place the mould in very hot water for 30 seconds, but don’t let the blancmange get wet, and just loosen the edge to break the vacuum. Carefully turn the blancmange out onto a plate. If it does not come out of the mould return it to the hot water for another 30 seconds before trying again.

*If the mixture is lumpy with bits of egg just sieve them out.

 

The Recipe: Lemon Blancmange from The Book of Household Management (available here)

The Date: 1861

How did you make it? See above.

Time to complete?: 45 mins to make it, several hours to set.

How successful was it?: It was delicious! Creamy, firm and not too sweet, it even turned out of the mould well, after a couple of anxious moments. I served it with a simple raspberry coulis of frozen raspberries, water and sugar cooked and mashed together.

How accurate?: I’m not sure what type of gelatine the original recipe would have used (powdered, leaf, liquid?) or how finely ground the rice should be but it seemed to work. I also set it in the fridge rather than in a bowl of cold water because the weather was too warm for that.

[1] Isabella Beeton, ed., Beeton’s Book of Household Management (London: S.O Beeton, 1861), rec. 1442.

Bibliography

Beeton, Isabella, ed. Beeton’s Book of Household Management. London: S.O Beeton, 1861.

The Pudding Bag – A Revelation

 

England has been famous for its puddings for centuries, and the word is now interchangeable with dessert, but it wasn’t always so. Historically puddings were essentially sausages with a filling stuffed into the stomach or intestines of an animal (the word probably comes from the Anglo-Norman word bodin meaning entrails)[1]. Sometimes they were kind of like dumplings, cooked in the broth with the meat for dinner.

 

Some of these types of puddings have survived into modern times e.g. black pudding, white pudding and haggis, but many others fell by the wayside because there are several main problems with this technique. Firstly, the ick factor. Secondly, processing the intestines is time consuming and, if not done properly, can make people very sick. Thirdly, fresh entrails are only available when you have slaughtered an animal and even then the quantity is limited.

 

The result of all this was that sometime in the late 16th or early 17th century realised there was a better way – the pudding cloth! Instead of slaughtering an animal and then spending hours, if not days, soaking and cleaning the intestines all the home chef had to do was butter and flour a piece of tightly woven cloth (calico is ideal). It was easier, faster and a lot less messy, plus the cloth can be re-used over and over again.

 

The earliest pudding boiled in a cloth that I’m aware of is in John Murrell’s ‘A New Booke of Cookerie’ from 1615. His recipe for a Cambridge Pudding contains breadcrumbs, flour, dates, currants, nutmeg, cinnamon, pepper, suet, milk, sugar and eggs and most importantly, it’s boiled in a cloth.[2] This however is the only pudding which he recommends using a cloth for, the other boiled puddings are all made in guts or cauls and he offers one fried pudding and one Italian baked pudding. By 1671 though napkins, bags and cloths were much more popular, used in 26 of Robert May’s recipes for puddings.[3]

 

Image taken from page 23 of 'Recollections of Old Christmas: a masque. Performed at Grimston. [By Thomas C. Croker.]' Courtesy of the British Library.

Image taken from page 23 of ‘Recollections of Old Christmas: a masque. Performed at Grimston. [By Thomas C. Croker.]’ Courtesy of the British Library.

Boiled puddings continued to be popular well into the Victorian era, but over time most puddings have also become sweeter (with a few exceptions such as haggis, see here for a sweet haggis recipe). At first they were starch, offal or maybe meat spiced up with a little dried fruit and some cinnamon but by the Victorian period the only reminder of most puddings’ savoury heritage was the suet. Others were based on eggs, such as the popular Quaking Pudding which I chose to make this week, it’s essentially a boiled egg custard with breadcrumbs or flour to keep it together.

 

The Recipe

 

Take a pint of good cream, six eggs, and half the whites, beat them well, and mix with the cream; grate a little nutmeg in, add a little salt, and a little rosewater, if it be agreeable; – grate in the crumb of a halfpenny roll, or a spoonful of flour, first mixed with a little of the cream, or a spoonful of the flour of rice, which you please. Butter a cloth well, and flour it; then put in your mixture, tie it not too close, and boil it half an hour fast. Be sure the water boils before you put it in.[4]

 

I chose to use Hannah Glasse’s recipe for Quaking Pudding (available here) because I was intrigued by the use of rice flour, which conceivably means it could be made gluten free. The only issue with that is flouring the cloth, for which I used normal flour but I imagine it could be done either with gluten free plain flour or possibly with rice flour.

 

In the end, the pudding was easy to put together but took a lot longer to boil than the recipe said. Setting up the saucepan etc is also a bit of a faff if you don’t just happen to have a copper boiling for wash day. To top it all off, I found the taste extremely plain and rather eggy, although some of my taste-testers enjoyed its simplicity. To make it a little more interesting I made a quick sauce based on aside on Ivan Day’s site which says it was frequently served with a sauce of melted butter, sugar and rose-water.[5] It helped a bit. If after that glowing endorsement you would still like to try it, my version of the recipe is below.

Quaking Pudding, recipe from 1774

 

The Redaction

 

Quaking Pudding

 

3 eggs

3 egg yolks, extra

2 cups cream

1/4 nutmeg, grated

1 1/2 tbsp rosewater

Pinch of salt

1 tbsp rice flour

20-30g butter

A couple of tbsp of flour

Slivered almonds to decorate

 

For the sauce:

30g butter, melted

2 tbsp caster sugar

1 tbsp rosewater

 

You will also need a large piece of unbleached cotton or calico (wash well in hot water prior to use), kitchen string and a very large saucepan.

 

  1. Fill the saucepan with water and bring to a rolling boil.
  2. Take the eggs and extra egg yolks and beat them with the cream. Stir in the grated nutmeg, rosewater and the salt. Add 1 tbsp rice flour and whisk till smooth.
  3. Lay the clean cloth on a flat surface and rub the butter into the cloth, squidging it in with your fingers to make a waxy barrier. Spread the flour over the buttered cloth, then carefully lift the cloth into a round bottomed bowl.
  4. Pour the mixture into the cloth. Gather the edges of the cloth and tie tightly, leaving a bit of room for the mixture to expand. Place gently into the boiling water and boil for 60 mins.
  5. Using tongs, carefully remove the pudding from the water. Cut the string and very gently unwrap the pudding. If as you begin to unwrap the pudding you find that it is still liquid you will need to carefully retie the string and boil the pudding for longer.
  6. To make the sauce mix the melted butter, sugar and rosewater together. Stud the pudding with the almonds and serve with the sauce.

 

The Recipe: Quaking Pudding from The Art of Cookery, Made Plain and Easy by Hannah Glasse (available here)

The Date: 1774

How did you make it? See above.

Time to complete?: 25 mins to put it together and 60 mins to boil.

Total cost: About $6 for the cream and the rosewater. Everything else was in the cupboard.

How successful was it?: It did turn out which was one of the things that I was worried about, but it took a lot longer to cook than the recipe indicated. The taste, however, was very bland and very eggy so not that great.

How accurate?: Pretty accurate, although I used thickened cream instead of plain cream which wasn’t ideal.

IMG_2226

[1] “Pudding, N.,” OED Online (Oxford University Press), accessed September 6, 2014, http://www.oed.com.ezproxy2.library.usyd.edu.au/view/Entry/154127.

[2] John Murrell, A Nevv Booke of Cookerie VVherein Is Set Forth the Newest and Most Commendable Fashion for Dressing or Sowcing, Eyther Flesh, Fish, or Fowle. Together with Making of All Forts of Iellyes, and Other Made-Dishes for Seruice; Both to Beautifie and Adorne Eyther Nobleman or Gentlemans Table. Hereunto Also Is Added the Most Exquisite London Cookerie. All Set Forth according to the Now, New, English and French Fashion. Set Forth by the Obseruation of a Traueller. I.M., 1615th ed., Early English Books, 1475-1640 / 1146:17 (London: Printed for Iohn Browne, and are to be solde at his shop in S. Dunstanes Church-yard, 1615), 37.

[3] KM Wall, “May Pudding Baggage,” Pilgrim Seasonings, May 21, 2013, http://blogs.plimoth.org/pilgrimseasonings/?tag=quaking-pudding.

[4] Hannah Glasse, The Art of Cookery, Made Plain and Easy: Which Far Exceeds Any Thing of the Kind Yet Published … (W. Strahan, J. and F. Rivington, J. Hinton, 1774), 219.

[5] Ivan Day, “Some Interesting English Puddings,” Historic Food, N.D, http://www.historicfood.com/English%20Puddings.htm.

 

Bibliography

 

Day, Ivan. “Some Interesting English Puddings.” Historic Food, N.D. http://www.historicfood.com/English%20Puddings.htm.

Glasse, Hannah. The Art of Cookery, Made Plain and Easy: Which Far Exceeds Any Thing of the Kind Yet Published … W. Strahan, J. and F. Rivington, J. Hinton, 1774.

Murrell, John. A Nevv Booke of Cookerie VVherein Is Set Forth the Newest and Most Commendable Fashion for Dressing or Sowcing, Eyther Flesh, Fish, or Fowle. Together with Making of All Forts of Iellyes, and Other Made-Dishes for Seruice; Both to Beautifie and Adorne Eyther Nobleman or Gentlemans Table. Hereunto Also Is Added the Most Exquisite London Cookerie. All Set Forth according to the Now, New, English and French Fashion. Set Forth by the Obseruation of a Traueller. I.M. 1615th ed. Early English Books, 1475-1640 / 1146:17. London: Printed for Iohn Browne, and are to be solde at his shop in S. Dunstanes Church-yard, 1615.

“Pudding, N.” OED Online. Oxford University Press. Accessed September 6, 2014. http://www.oed.com.ezproxy2.library.usyd.edu.au/view/Entry/154127.

Wall, KM. “May Pudding Baggage.” Pilgrim Seasonings, May 21, 2013. http://blogs.plimoth.org/pilgrimseasonings/?tag=quaking-pudding.