The weather warmed up today but I’m not feeling great and so I decided to try a light pudding more suited to a hot summer day. It is called Orange Pudding and appears int he Pudding section of the 1898 New Galt Cook Book. Mrs. James Hood shared this recipe.
I cut up a lemon very fine and put it in a pot on the stove. I added 2 cups of white granulated sugar and then poured 1 pint (2 cups) of boiling water over top. I put 3 tablespoons of cornstarch in a cup an added some milk until the starch was dissolved. I poured this into the pot and stirred. I turned the heat up until it boiled. . . . and then forgot about it! It boiled rather than simmered for more than the required 5 minutes but didn’t seem to come to any harm. I set it aside to cool and started slicing up oranges. I put the orange slices in a bowl and sprinkled powdered sugar on them. Once the cornstarch mixture was cooler I poured it on top. Since I’m not feeling all that well I decided to skip the raw egg white topping. I’ve made this sort of thing before and have a sense of how it will taste. However, if you want to go ahead as a modern cook you can get a carton of pasteurized egg whites and measure out the equivalent to two eggs. Whip them up well and add a bit of sugar and lemon flavouring before spreading on top of the pudding. Put it in the fridge to cool. I sampled it while it was still a little warm.
Mrs. James Hood is Margaret Ramsay. She was born in Scotland around 1850 but her parents Andrew and Margaret brought her to Galt Ontario by the time of the 1851 census. Based on the 1861 census her mother died before Margaret was ten. Her father Andrew was a tailor and an 1851 directory lists him on North Main Street in Galt. I’m not sure where they are in 1871 but 21-year-old Margaret marries 31-year-old merchant James McCrea Hood in 1872 in Galt. They had three children the youngest was born in Galt in 1884 so they must have been living there at the time. In 1911 the family lived at 7 State Street. James died in 1925 but I don’t know when Margaret died.
I sampled my orange pudding while it was still a bit warm and it was good. I was surprised. The only thing I’d change as a modern cook is to either strain the lemon or make sure it is very very finely sliced. Also I seem to have put too much sugar on the orange slices. If your oranges are not as sweet as mine than this might be a good idea, otherwise sprinkle the sugar very sparingly. I think this would be refreshing on a hot day and even in the winter it is a bit of summer if you don’t mind a cold dessert.
Mrs. James Hood
Pour one pint of boiling water over two cupfuls of sugar and one lemon cut very fine. Wet three tablespoonfuls of corn starch with a little milk and stir in. Let it come to a boil, simmer five minutes, slice four oranges and lay in a glass dish, scatter over them a little starch when cool, whip the whites of two eggs with a little sugar, flavor with lemon essence, pour over the top and let get icy cold.