Category Archives: Puddings

Day 364: Rice Croquettes

I spent much of today at the hospital with the family member who is receiving chemotherapy. It made me think of the women in The New Galt Cook Book (1898) who submitted cookery for the sick and home remedy recipes. It is amazing the level of care available today and so I’m making something completely different. There’s some boiled rice leftover from tonight’s simple supper so I’m going to make Rice Croquettes using a recipe contributed to the Pudding section by someone with the initials M.A.R.

I used 3 cups cup of boiled rice and added 1/2 cup of milk, 1 tablespoon of butter, 1 tablespoon of white granulated sugar and a bit of nutmeg. I added a beaten egg and mixed it all together. Once it was cool I shaped them into flat patties and dipped them in the rest of the beaten egg and then rolled the patties in bread crumbs. I fried them in hot fat for 3 minutes.

I have no idea the identity of M. A. R. There’s at least three contributors who use initials in this cookbook and I have no idea why they preferred to keep their identities secret.

Rice croquettes were not a success for me. My rice was a bit too soggy to really deal well with the extra egg so I skipped that step and simply rolled them in bread crumbs. I found the flavour bland and not at all what I expected. I thought they’d be crispy outside and sort of soft inside. Instead they were just soft and blah. Maybe that’s why M.A.R. is anonymous.


Boil one cupful of well washed rice in four cupfuls of boiling water for half an hour. Drain it, add to it half a cupful of milk, one tablespoonful of butter, one of sugar, half a teaspoonful of salt and a grating of nutmeg. When this mixture boils, stir in rapidly one egg and set it away to cool. When cold, shape, dip in beaten egg, then in bread crumbs, and fry three minutes in hot fat.


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Day 359: Roast Duck and Teetotallers’ Christmas Pudding with Caramel Sauce

Christmas Greetings from The Canadian Grocer magazine December 1898.

Christmas Greetings from The Canadian Grocer magazine December 1898.

Today is Christmas Day and I’m staying in my childhood home with my family. After mentioning a few weeks ago that I could get a farm fresh duck, it was decided that duck would be the fowl for Christmas dinner this year. So today I used the Roast Duck recipe in The New Galt Cook Book (1898) that Mrs. A. Taylor contributed. I also planned to serve Teetotallers’ Christmas Pudding with Caramel Sauce for dessert.

I picked up the duck from Amy a couple of days ago. It had led a happy life roaming around the farm before meeting its destiny. I didn’t need to singe or draw the bird but I did pick a few more pin feathers from it before removing the giblets (heart, lungs, and liver) and the neck and washing and drying the bird. I put the giblets and neck in a pot of water to boil. As soon as the giblets were cooked I removed them and left the neck to continue cooking.

Stuffing the duck before roasting

Stuffing the duck before roasting

Time to make the dressing. I chopped the giblets and also an onion into very small pieces. I put them in a frying pan with a bit of butter to fry. Meanwhile I had two slices of stale bread soaking in some milk. Once the onion and giblets were fried until the onions were slightly golden I squeezed the bread and poured off the milk. You might be wondering why I chose to soak the bread in milk. The recipe doesn’t mention what liquid to use so I decided milk might work well. I mixed the fried giblets and onions with the bread and then started wondering whether the bread was supposed to have been fried with the other things. I ended up putting it all back in the frying pan to see what would happen to the bread. I let it fry a tiny bit and decided that the bread wasn’t to be fried. I seasoned the dressing with salt, pepper and ground sage before putting it in the duck. I placed the bird (breast side up) on a rack in a shallow roasting pan and rubbed some salt and pepper into it.  I’d held back a bit of the onions and giblets and put them in the bottom of the roasting pan since I wasn’t sure if that was what was intended in the instructions. It is hard to get salt pork here so I decided to put pieces of bacon on top of the duck’s breast. I poured a cup of water in the bottom of the pan before I put it in the preheated oven. I decided to try roasting it at 375 F. since the instructions said a moderately hot oven.

Carving the Roast Duck

Carving the Roast Duck

My duck weighed 5.5 lbs so I thought roasting for 1 1/2 hours might not be long enough so I planned the rest of the meal to be ready no earlier than two hours from the moment the duck went into the oven. I checked it every half hour or so and attempted to baste it. I discovered their was an instant read thermometer in the house so I used that modern invention to confirm that the duck was cooked. It was in the oven for two hours before I removed it and set it aside to rest while I made the gravy.

Gravy made from the Roast Duck

Gravy made from the Roast Duck

To make the gravy I scraped some of the drippings from the roasting pan avoiding as much grease as possible and added it to the water used for boiling the neck and giblets. I made a paste of flour and water and then added some of the hot liquid duck juices to it. then I added the flour mixture to the juices in the pot, stirred and turned up the heat. I kept stirring to avoid lumps and seasoned this gravy with salt and pepper. It was time to bring to the table the Roast Duck on a platter ready to carve along with the gravy in a sauce-boat to enjoy with the rest of the meal (mashed potatoes, baked squash, stuffing, cranberry orange sauce, and salad). I’d also made the Potato Rolls from day 64. I cut the first slice from the duck and started serving everyone as they helped themselves to the rest of the food. We sat down to enjoy our Christmas dinner together and eventually report on the taste of the roast duck.

Once the duck was in the oven roasting I started preparing Teetotallers’ Christmas Pudding. I was stymied by the lack of currants and peel but decided to go ahead and make this recipe using two kinds of raisins and substituting crystallized ginger for the peel. Ginger appears in some other pudding recipes so it is appropriate if not completely accurate for this recipe. Again my lack of a kitchen scale meant I had to rely on conversions from the internet. It was soon obvious that I didn’t have enough ingredients to make the full recipe so I cut it in half. I put 1 pound (4 cups of sultana raisins in a bowl along with 1/2 pound (1 1/2 cups) of golden raisins instead of currants. One advantage of modern life is the availability of prepared suet. I didn’t have to do any chopping. I measured out 1 pound (3 3//4 cups) of suet and added it to the bowl. I stirred and then started preparing the rest of the ingredients. I added 1/4 pound (3/4 cup) brown sugar and then chopped 3 ounces (3/4 cup) of crystallized ginger before stirring it into the rest. I beat 3 eggs with 1/2 quart (2 cups) of milk and then poured it into the bowl. Once it was mixed I added 1/2 ounce of spice. I decided to use 1 tablespoon of cinnamon and 1/2 tablespoon of nutmeg. I stirred well as I added the last ingredient 1 1/4 pound (about 4 cups) flour. It was time to get this pudding steaming or boiling.

I thought I’d remembered my pudding mold but had to substitute a glass bowl with a good edge to tie down a cloth. I filled the bowl 3/4 full with some of the heavy pudding batter and then put cheesecloth over the top of the bowl. I held it in place by tying string around the edge of the bowl’s lip. I put the prepared bowl in a pot of water making sure the water came up to the level of the pudding but not over the top of the bowl. I put the lid on the pot and turned up the heat. I left it to boil for three hours topping up the water twice. I really wasn’t sure how long this pudding was to boil but guessed that three hours might be enough. After we’d eaten the main part of the meal and done some dishes I started to prepare the pudding sauce before removing the pudding from the pot of boiling water.

Teetotallers' Christmas Pudding and Caramel Sauce

Teetotallers’ Christmas Pudding and Caramel Sauce

I decided to try Mrs. A. Taylor’s recipe for Caramel Sauce thinking it might go well with this rather plain pudding. I put 1 cup of sugar in a heavy sauce pan and turned up the heat quite high. The cup of water was nearby so that I wouldn’t have to stop stirring. I kept stirring as the sugar quickly started to melt and turn colour. I kept stirring until it was completely liquid and a nice amber colour. I poured in the water and the sugar seized up but I kept stirring and soon it melted back to a brown liquid. I set the timer for two minutes and left it to boil while I started getting the pudding ready to serve. I carefully removed the bowl from the water and then cut the string to remove the cloth. I poured off a bit of liquid that was sitting on top. It seemed to be a bit of water and melted suet. I slid a knife around the edge of the bowl to loosen the pudding before unmolding it onto a plate that is a family heirloom. I poured the completed Caramel Sauce into a sauce-boat and gathered the family for dessert. My parents don’t drink alcohol so the Teetotallers’ Christmas Pudding was very suitable for our family Christmas dinner. I cut slices for everyone and poured on some sauce. It was time to taste.

Mrs. A. Taylor contributed quite a number of recipes including today’s roast duck and the caramel sauce recipe for the pudding. She is Scottish born Margaret “Maggie” Fisher wife of another Scottish immigrant Alfred Taylor. Her recipes cover a broad spectrum of the range available in the many chapters of The New Galt Cook Book. I’ve tried making fifteen of her contributions to the chapters on eggs, puddings, sauces, candy, soups, and cheese as well as other poultry recipes.

Mrs. Hunt of Speedsville shared her recipe for Teetotallers’ Christmas Pudding. Ironically I made her baked squash recipe on Day 50. Matilda Ann Hudson was born in England in 1836 and married James Hunt in 1858 when she was 21 years old. James and Matilda lived in Preston when they married but later lived in nearby Galt and Speedsville. Their only child a daughter named Violet V. Hunt was born in 1867. James was involved in the woolen industry but suddenly died of a heart attack in Speedsville in 1896. He was 61. Matilda died in 1913 of pneumonia.

Slices of Roast Duck with dressing and baked squash.

Slices of Roast Duck with dressing and baked squash.

So how did everything turn out? I’m sitting writing and digesting a good meal. Everyone tried the roast duck except my brother who’d once had a pet duck (something I’d completely forgotten). Those of us who prefer white meat when eating chicken or turkey weren’t as keen on the all dark duck meat but the other tasters really liked it. It wasn’t greasy as I’d feared. The skin was crispy and the meat very tender. The dressing was very moist and not nearly as fatty as I’d expected. It tasted good. The big surprise was the gravy. It was a success and popular! I normally make horrible gravy but this tasted like a wonderful mushroom gravy despite not containing any mushrooms. The giblets must have been the mystery element that gave it a mushroom flavour. I’d added some chopped orange when I made the typical cranberry sauce and it went very well with the duck. The potato rolls were also a big hit.

Teetotallers' Christmas Pudding

Teetotallers’ Christmas Pudding

The Teetotallers’ Christmas Pudding was okay. Everyone ate their serving and the substitution of ginger worked very well — better than peel. The pudding is a bit stodgy. It isn’t very sweet – a plus when there are so many sweets available at this time of year. The Caramel Sauce tasted great with this pudding (and so did the preserved pears with ginger I made two days ago). I might try frying a slice tomorrow for breakfast. I hear it is a good way to enjoy steamed puddings in the days to come… and considering how much pudding is left we are going to have to get creative to use it up.

Mrs. A. Taylor

Singe, draw, wash thoroughly, wipe dry and fill with the following dressing: Two slices stale bread soaked and squeezed dry, a small onion chopped fine, season with salt, pepper and sage, boil the giblets, strain, chop fine, mix all and fry a light brown, place in pan with some slices salt pork on the breast, put a small cup of water in pan, baste frequently, have a moderately hot oven, roast an hour and half, thicken the gravy with a spoonful of flour stirred smooth together.


Mrs. Hunt, Speedsville

Pick and stone two pounds good raisins, pick, wash and dry one pound currants, chop two pounds beef suet. Have ready half pound brown sugar, six ounces candied peel — them, two and a half pounds flour, six eggs, one quart or more milk, one ounce mixed spice and one tablespoonful salt. Mix rather stiff. Use with or without sauce.


Mrs. A. Taylor

One cupful granulated sugar, one cupful water. Put the sugar into an iron saucepan; stir with a wooden spoon, over a quick fire, until the sugar melts and turns an amber color, then add the water, let boil two minutes and turn out to cool.

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Day 352: English Plum Pudding

We are only a week away from Christmas now so I need to get moving on some of these seasonal recipes in The New Galt Cook Book (1898). I really should have made a plum pudding on Stir up Sunday. That’s the last Sunday before Advent (the four Sundays preceding Christmas) but time got away from me. Instead I’m making Mrs. W. T. Smith‘s recipe for English Plum Pudding tonight.

Pudding Steamer from Regal.

Pudding Steamer from Regal.

This is a big recipe so I’m cutting the quantity in half to make it more manageable for my equipment (and budget). I put 2 cups of suet in a large bowl and added 2 cups of white granulated sugar and 2 cups of bread crumbs. Suet is the hard fat around the kidneys of animals like cattle. It is usually available in the frozen meat section of the grocery store. Next I put 2 cups of currants and 3 cups of raisins in another bowl and added 1 cup of flour. I loaned my scale to someone and so I couldn’t weigh the peel but checked and 4 ounces will be about a cup. Once the peel was in the bowl with the raisins, currants and flour I mixed them together and then added it all to the rest of the ingredients. I sprinkled 1 teaspoon of baking powder over it all. Next I used the bowl again to mix 1/2 cup of milk, 1/2 a wine glass of whiskey and 4 eggs together before stirring them into the pudding mixture. The final step was the rest of the dry ingredients. I tend to over spice things so I was sparing and sprinkled in just 1 teaspoon of ginger and 1 teaspoon of mace. After adding 1 cup of flour I mixed everything together. I’d already used 1 cup of flour with the dried fruit. I put some of the mixture in my new pudding mold only to discover the mold didn’t fit my pot. I ended up setting up a sort of steamer system to cook the English Plum Pudding. It steamed for two hours before I removed it from the heat and opened my pudding steamer. It was time to taste.

Mrs. W. T. Smith is Joann (Annie or Anna) Henderson. She was born in 1834 to Scottish born parents Isabella and Thomas. She married William Thomas Smith and they had at least eight children by the 1871 census when they lived in Blenheim. William was listed as a school teacher if this is the right Smith family. Then in 1881 they are back in Galt and William is a merchant. By 1891 William is listed as a retired teacher and their son Thomas is a merchant (books and stationery). Although the census doesn’t show it W.T. Smith was also a professional photographer. Fortunately he took pictures of his own family and I’m hoping the descendent who posted them on ancestry will allow me to use them here.

The term “plum” in the title refers to the dried fruit in the pudding. At one time plum was a term applied to all dried fruits rather than just a specific fresh fruit from a tree. So when Little Jack Horner stuck in his thumb and pulled out a plum in the old nursery rhyme he was likely pulling out some sort of dried fruit. I didn’t bother making a sauce. I wanted to taste the pudding on its own rather than covered by something else. This is a great plum pudding. It is moist without being soggy and it is delicious. The amount of dried fruit seems well-balanced to me. Sometimes plum puddings are almost entirely made up of fruit but this has a lighter feel to it. I recommend trying this if you want to enjoy Plum Pudding this Christmas, or any other time too. For some reason these days we only serve steamed puddings at this season and yet they are a good old-fashioned dessert anytime during the winter.

UPDATE: Just fixed the numbering. Also be sure to enjoy this pudding while it is warm. The suet makes it less palatable when it is cold.


Mrs. W. T. Smith

Nine eggs, four cupfuls suet, four cupfuls sugar, four cupfuls bread crumbs, four cupfuls currants, six cupfuls raisins, eight ounces peel, one wine glass whiskey, one small cupful milk, two teaspoonfuls baking powder, spices to suit taste, enough flour to make stiff, flour the fruit.

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Day 350: Rice in Cups

I made custard yesterday and today I’m going to use it for a recipe called Rice in Cups. A Hamilton woman named Mrs. Henderson contributed the recipe for the 1898 New Galt Cook Book that appears in the Pudding section of the cookbook.

I used the proportions on the package to cook the rice. It was 1 cup of raw white rice with 1 1/3 cup of water. Once it came to a boil I left it to simmer for 10 minutes. Once the rice was cooked I scooped the rice into cups to cool. Once they were cool I unmolded the cups of rice into a bowl and put some of my grape jelly from day 292 on top of each mound of rice. Then I poured the custard over top. It was time to taste.

Mrs. Henderson of Hamilton is a mystery. Here’s a list of about half the possible women from the 1891 census: First the widows: Ann – 78 ; Margaret – 70; Jane – 67; Janet – 45; Mary – 45; – Then there are the women who still have living husbands: Isabella – 70 wife of John; J. S. – 51 married but husband not listed;  Matilda H – 49 wife of John; Margaret – 46 married but husband not listed; Charlotte – 43 wife of George; Sarah E. – 38 wife of Harry; Jennie – 37 wife of Deyald; Isabella – 35 wife of George; Jenny – 35 wife of Maurice; Mary – 34 wife of John; Eliza – 32 married but husband not listed; Margaret – 31 wife of James; Mary – 31 wife of William; Hannah M. – 30 wife of Frank;

I kept hoping I’d find a local connection to narrow the field. Mrs. William T. Smith contributed recipes and her maiden name was Annie Henderson. I’ve looked at her four brothers but although they married it doesn’t look like any of them lived in Hamilton. I’m still working on their sons. Mrs. James W. Trotter shared recipes and her maiden name was Marion C. Henderson so she’s another connection but she doesn’t appear to have any brothers.

Since I can’t find out about Mrs. Henderson I thought I’d look into the types of rice available in 1898. An advertisement in the 1898 The Canadian Grocer magazine lists fancy and polished Patna; fancy and choice Japan; Imperial glace, B and granulated rices all in stock in late summer.

Rice in Cups is better than I expected. This is a bit like rice pudding and the grape jelly goes well with the vanilla custard. Don’t bother making this if you hate rice pudding. However, if you have some leftover rice why not turn it into this quick dessert.

Mrs. Henderson, Hamilton

One cup of rice, boil it and put it to cool in small teacups, it will fill six teacups, after it is cold empty them into a large fruit dish, put a piece of jelly on the top of each cupful and pour boiled custard over it. Three eggs will make custard enough for that quantity.

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Day 334: Orange Pudding

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.

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Day 317: Plum Pudding

It snowed today enough to stay on the ground a bit and now that Remembrance Day is over there are signs of Christmas everywhere. So, I’m going to make one of the recipes for Plum Pudding in The New Galt Cook Book (1898). It was contributed by Mrs. Hugh White of Branchton.

I put 1 cup of white sugar in a bowl and added 1 cup of suet and 1 cup of bread crumbs.  Suet is the hard fat around the kidneys of animals like cattle and sheep. Today we can buy it already prepared rather than having to chop and shred like Mrs. White did in 1898. I usually find the bags of shredded suet in the frozen meat section of the grocery store. This is the time of year to stock up as it is available for Christmas and many people use it for preparing suet feeders for birds. It keeps very well in the freezer. There’s no need to thaw it before putting in the pudding. It will quickly thaw as you mix and add the other ingredients.

The next step was to add the 1 cup of milk and the four eggs. I should have chopped the 2 cups of raisins but forgot and simply added them. They also should have been dusted in flour to prevent them from sinking. I also added 2 cups of currants to the bowl. I decided to start with 2 cups of flour and 1/2 teaspoon of cloves, 1/2 teaspoon of ginger and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon. I mixed it all together and it seemed to be stiff so I didn’t add any more flour except for what I shook out of my prepared pudding cloth.

This is a famous illustration of the moment when the pudding is pulled from the water.

This is a famous illustration of the moment when the pudding is pulled from the water.

I bought a pudding cloth at the grocery store in the section with foods from Newfoundland. Not everyone is going to be lucky enough to found a pudding bag in the grocery store but you can simply cut a piece of muslin or plain cotton to the size you need. The cloth needs to be moistened and dusted inside with flour before filling with the pudding mixture. Be sure to leave lots of room for the pudding to expand. Tie it off in a way that you can untie or use string you can cut later. Have a pot of water boiling and then pop in the bag of pudding. This is what I did but I missed one step. I forgot about it and the pot boiled dry. Make sure you keep checking every 1/2 hour or so and top up the water with more boiling water. I rescued my pudding after three hours but it had scorched too much to risk adding more water. Instead I set the bag of pudding on a plate to open it up. The cloth pulled away very well.  It was time to taste.

I haven’t made recipes from Mrs. Hugh White of Branchton for quite a while.  The last time was on day 97 when I made her sweet apple pickle. Janet Wallace was born around 1833 in Scotland to James and Janet. The family moved to Canada when little Janet was about 7 years old. What an adventure for a young girl! My own great great grandfather John McFarlane came to Canada from Scotland around the same time and he was about the same age as Janet. My relative lived to be 104 so I heard stories about him when I was little. Janet married Hugh White in 1858 when she was 21 years old. They had six children but their first son Hugh died as an infant. The rest lived to adulthood although two of the girls died as young married women of kidney disease. Hugh and Janet spent their lives in South Dumfries township successfully farming over 450 acres of land. Janet died in 1905 and Hugh in 1909.

Despite the plum pudding’s brush with “fire” it tasted quite good. A boiled pudding like this is very moist. There were lots of raisins and the spicing worked although it could have used just a little more of each spice. This is a good pudding for beginners since it is a smaller sized pudding and doesn’t require a scale for measuring. It also has typical ingredients. And just in case you were wondering why this is a plum pudding when it doesn’t contain any plums, the name is an old one. It apparently dates to a time when dried fruits like raisins and currants were all called plums. So basically this is simply a dried fruit pudding.

Mrs. Hugh White, Branchton

One cupful sugar, one cupful suet, one cupful bread crumbs, one cupful milk, two cupfuls raisins chopped, two cupfuls currants, four eggs, flour to make stiff. Put in spices to taste, tie loosely in a well floured cloth and boil steadily for four hours.


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Day 282: Dutch Apple Pudding

I think it is time for another pudding from the 1898 New Galt Cook Book. It is getting chilly tonight so I’m going to make Dutch Apple Pudding. The recipe comes from Mrs. T. Hepburn of Preston.

The first step was to beat 1 egg and then add milk but no amount of milk is given. I decided to skip it until I could estimate how much I needed. I moved on to mixing the dry ingredients. I measured 1 pint (2 cups) of flour into a bowl and then added 2 teaspoons of baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. I mixed them and then rubbed in the 2 tablespoons of butter. Looking at the amount of dry ingredients and the amount of egg I ended up adding almost 1 cup of milk. Once everything was blended I spread it in a baking dish. I happened to have three different varieties of apples (Talman Sweet, Northern Spy and Macintosh) so I opted to use one of each as an experiment. I cut the three 3 apples in half and took out the cores before setting them into the dough. I sprinkled the top with 2 tablespoons of sugar and put the pan in the oven at 375 F for 30 minutes. Some of the apples were soft and the top of the dough was beginning to brown when I removed the pan from the oven. It was time to prepare to taste Dutch Apple Pudding.

Emily, her husband Thomas and their adult daughter Leila.

Emily, her husband Thomas and their adult daughter Leila.

Mrs. T. Hepburn is likely Emily Hinderer who married Preston accountant Thomas Hepburn in 1884 when she was about 24. Thomas’ family were from Scotland. Emily was also born in Preston in 1859 but her parents John and Catherine were both from Germany.  Emily’s father died when she was eleven. Even after their marriage Thomas and Emily remained in Preston and Emily’s widowed mother lived with them. In 1892 they had their only child Leila May. For some reason I can’t seem to find out when Emily died although I know she was still around in 1921 and her husband lived to be 95. I am fortunate to have a picture of the little family which their descendent has allowed me to use here.

After tasting the dough before it was cooked I didn’t think this would be anything special. It is a plain sort of dessert but I liked it, perhaps because it is simple. The choice of apple does affect the end result. I happened to like the Macintosh since it became very soft. The others were still firm but all the apples added their unique character to the pan. The cream and extra sugar turned this into a nice dessert. As for why it is called Dutch Apple Pudding, I have no idea. There are apples in it but it is not what I consider a pudding and why Dutch? The same applies to Dutch apple pie.


Mrs. T. Hepburn, Preston

One pint flour, one egg, two tablespoonfuls butter, two teaspoonfuls baking powder, one-half teaspoonful salt, three or four apples. Beat the egg light, add the milk to it, put salt and baking powder in flour, sift and then rub in the butter, pour in the milk and egg quickly; spread the dough about half an inch thick on a buttered baking pan, halve and core the apples, stick the pieces into the dough; sprinkle with two tablespoonfuls of sugar. Bake in a quick oven half an hour. Eat with sugar and cream.

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