Friday, February 08, 2013

Old Puddings.

It seems a long time since I had some fun with old food words - and, as you know, old food words are one of my favourite topics.  A short visit with the lovely Dictionary of Obsolete and Provincial English (1857) was not disappointing.

I went in search of puddings. Why puddings?, you may ask.  I say ‘Why not?’ And I did find some lovely puddings and pudding words, as I hope you will agree.

Whispering-Pudding. A pudding in which the plums are very close together.
Poke-Pudding. A long pudding.
Hack-Pudding. A mess made of sheep’s heart, chopped with suet and sweet fruits. This is clearly a variation on the theme of haggis. The dictionary also includes:
Hackin. A pudding made in the maw of a sheep or hog, formerly a standard dish at Christmas.
Well-Pudding. A pudding made like pie-crust, and boiled with butter in the middle.
Hamkin. A pudding made upon the bones of a shoulder of mutton, after the flesh is taken off.
Livering. A pudding of liver, rolled up in the form of a sausage.
Ising. A sort of pudding, a sausage.
Sussex-Pudding. Boiled paste without butter.

There are two other pudding words that I must give you. The first is ‘Pudding-House’, which means ‘the belly.’ I know already that you like it.

The second is my personal favourite, perhaps because it comes from Yorkshire, the county of my birth. It is ‘Pudding-Dip,’ which refers to a pudding sauce. Lovely, isn’t it?  The gold standard of pudding dips is of course, custard. I give you two ‘German’ custards, complete with details for nervous custard cooks, from the marvelous Eliza Acton’s Modern Cookery for Private Families (1845)

A German Custard Pudding-Sauce.
Boil very gently together half a pint of new milk or of milk and cream mixed, a very thin strip or two of fresh lemon-rind, a bit of cinnamon, half an inch of a vanilla bean, and an ounce and a half or two ounces of sugar, until the milk is strongly flavoured; then strain, and pour it, by slow degrees, to the well-beaten yolks of three eggs, smoothly mixed with a knife-end-full (about half a teaspoonful) of flour, a grain or two of salt, and a tablespoonful of cold milk; and stir these very quickly round as the milk is added. Put the sauce again into the stewpan, and whisk or stir it rapidly until it thickens, and looks creamy. It must not be placed upon the fire, but should be held over it, when this is done. The Germans mill their sauces to a froth; but they may be whisked with almost equally good effect, though a small mill for the purpose—formed like a chocolate mill— may be had at a very trifling cost.

A Delicious German Pudding-Sauce.
Dissolve in half a pint of sherry or of Madeira, from three to four ounces of fine sugar, but do not allow the wine to boil; stir it hot to the well-beaten yolks of six fresh eggs, and mill the sauce over a gentle fire until it is well thickened and highly frothed; pour it over a plum, or any other kind of sweet boiled pudding, of which it much improves the appearance. Half the quantity will be sufficient for one of moderate size. We recommend the addition of a dessertspoonful of strained lemon-juice to the wine.
For large pudding, sherry or Madeira, 1 pint; fine sugar, 3 to 4 oz.; yolks of eggs, 6; lemon-juice (if added), 1 dessertspoonful.

Obs.—As we have already said in the previous receipt, it is customary to froth sweet sauces in Germany with a small machine made like a chocolate-mill. Two silver forks fastened together at the handles may be used instead on an emergency, or the sauce may be whisked to the proper state, like the one which precedes it.

Great care must be taken not to allow these sauces to curdle. The safer plan is to put any preparation of the kind into a white jar, and to place it over the fire in a pan of boiling water, and then to stir or mill it until it is sufficiently thickened: the jar should not be half filled, and it should be large enough to allow the sauce to be worked easily. The water should not reach to within two or three inches of the brim. We give these minute details for inexperienced cooks.


Mange said...

I thought silver and eggs didn't really like each other (or is that just the egg white?).

They both sound delicious, though.

The Old Foodie said...

I think using silver forks to beat custard would be OK because the milk, cream etc would be a buffer, also the yolks would be well cooked. Egg yolk as in a soft-boiled egg can blacken real silver.