Sunday, April 23, 2006

What's For Pud?

What's for Pud? asked Becks&Posh and Jam Faced. That question had me looking towards my resident Englishman Paalo. After a moment of contemplation he came up with a most inspired suggestion "Why don't you ask Mrs. Beeton?"

Of course - the first lady of English cookery. Before Nigella and Delia and Elizabeth there was Mrs. Beeton - Englishwomen, and those in the colonies, owe her many thanks.

I must say that this 1869 edition of Mrs. Beeton's Book of Household Management has never been used by me - I do hang my head in shame for that oversight.

The recipe calls for "moist sugar" which thanks to the power of google turns out to mean Muscovado Sugar - you can, like I have for this recipe, use Dark Brown Sugar instead. This is actually quite different as all the custards I've made use white or caster sugars.

Mrs. Beeton offers up some alternatives for the dish, the substitution of almonds for lemon and using half cream-half milk and/or the doubling of eggs to make it a richer dish. What I have listed below is the original recipe with my alternations shown in brackets.

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Baked Custard Pudding

1½ pints of milk (¾ pint cream and ¾ pint milk)
the rind of 1/4 lemon (1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste)
¼ lb. of moist sugar (¼ lb. Dark Brown sugar)
4 eggs

Put the milk into a saucepan with the sugar and lemon-rind and let this infuse for about a half hour or until the milk is well flavoured.

(Whisk the sugar, vanilla bean paste and milk together in a bowl until combined - let it sit to infuse for half an hour)

Whisk the eggs, yolks and whites; pour the milk to them, stirring all the while.

Strain the custard into the dish, grate a little nutmeg over the top and bake in a very slow oven for about 1/2 hour or rather longer.

(The time it takes to cook will depend on the size of the dish you use)

Serve cold.

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I've teamed these puddings with some traditional buttered apples (made by caramelising apple chunks in a butter and brown sugar mix). The puddings may not look very glamorous but they can't be beaten for taste. A most delightful way to see off St George's Day.

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4 comments:

  1. That's looks and sound delicious!

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  2. I am glad they turned out so tasty. I will have to give them a try. Thanks for taking part in what's for pud!

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  3. Thanks Sam - it was a lot of fun, the english do know how to make good puddings!

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