Monday, January 16, 2012

Puddings by the Wholesale.

One of the ideas I like to come across in old cookery books is the ‘make x-number of things from one mix’ sort of recipe. They are not very often relevant to modern family size, meal preferences, and time constraints, but I like to think of them as aids to creativity. Today I give you, in its entirety, a short article from the American Farmers' Magazine of 1857 which shows just how much you can do with a basic custard as your starting point.

                  Puddings by the Wholesale.
Here is a rule for building a dozen puddings or more on one foundation. What an idea! It may be a good, one, however. Let the ladies look at it and see:
Baked Puddings.—Take about three eggs for each quart of milk, beat them thoroughly and stir with the milk, adding salt and sugar or molasses to the taste, and a little nutmeg, or other spice if desired. It is now ready to pour into the pudding dish and set in the oven as a custard pudding, or with apple or other sauce stirred in, as a fruit pudding; or it can be used as a basis for almost any other pudding. Take the custard as prepared, and thicken it somewhat with cold corn cake or pone crumbled fine, and you will have a light and excellent Indian pudding, or thicken with dry bread well crumbled, for a good bread pudding, that will please all. Or the pieces of stale bread may be sliced thin, and slowly dried and browned in the oven, then pounded fine or ground in the coffee-mill, and a little of this powdered rusk—about one tablespoonful to a quart—used to thicken it, with ground clove for spice, and you have a rusk pudding.
Add rice which has been previously boiled in milk, to the custard, for a rice pudding, or a little sago or tapioca, well soaked and boiled, for a still further variety. Hominy well boiled, or grated sweet corn, too, make puddings which some are fond of. A pudding which we particularly like, is made by taking very thin slices of bread buttered thinly, putting a layer of this at the bottom of the dish, then a layer of apple sliced thin, another layer of bread, and so on till you have enough, then pour a custard made as first directed over the whole, and put it into the oven. Or for the bird's nest pudding, take small tart apples, pare and core, put them in the pudding-dish and pour the custard over.
The proportion of eggs may be increased or diminished in any of these puddings, according to the supply, and raisins or West India currants can be added or not at the pleasure of the cook. All of these puddings should be baked very slowly, and not suffered to boil in the oven. Sweet cream, with sugar, and if wished, a little nutmeg added, makes the best sauce for any of those. Or thicken boiling water with a little flour, add a small lump of butter, sugar, salt and spice, and either lemon juice, or lemon essence and vinegar, and you have a good, plain sauce.—Ohio Cultivator.

Quotation for the Day.

Chopsticks are one of the reasons the Chinese never invented custard.
Spike Milligan

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