Cherry Pudding (c. 1900) ★★★★

Pudding (as in a boiled or steamed cake) is one of the quintessential Victorian desserts, and I see it often in old cookbooks. However, I haven't got a pudding mold so I've been passing up the recipes. BUT! Later pudding recipes can call for baking, as in this case, and with a bag of fresh cherries in my fridge, I was keen to try this simple recipe.
By the way, there was no date on this cookbook (and it was published anonymously). I did a Google search and found one website listing it as circa 1900, so I went with it. 

Original Recipe:
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 1/2 cups flour
1 cup milk
1 cup cherries, pitted
1 egg

Cream together the butter and sugar and add the egg then beat well. Sift the flour and baking powder and add alternately with the milk. Blend well, flour the cherries and stir in. Pour batter into a baking dish and bake in moderate oven (350F) for 30 mins. Serve with plain or whipped cream.

The Verdict:
This pudding was okay on its own, but I think with a little something extra (ice cream, whipped cream, cherry sauce, etc.) it would be really nice. The cake itself was quite bland too, so it would benefit from some vanilla and/or spice. Mr. Man dubbed it "awesome", even on its own. Overall, it was good though, considering I scarfed down my piece so quickly that I burnt my tongue. The lack of sugar was actually almost refreshing. A tart cherry sauce (ooh, or a brandied cherry sauce!) would be my preference. Actually, puddings were often served with sauces anyway, so it would be fitting.

Modernized Recipe:
(Adapted from Pennsylvania Dutch Cooking)

The original recipe is easy to follow. My suggestions are to grease the baking dish before adding the batter, to mix some vanilla in to the batter, and to place a few halved cherries on top of the batter before baking.

Anje graduated with a Honours Bachelors degree in History with a minor in Museum Studies. She currently lives and works in Japan's least populous prefecture as an assistant English teacher.


  1. Hoping to go cherry picking this weekend, so I may get to try this one.

    Incidentally, I've just got back from (Girl) Guide camp, where we cooked on wood fires and we made chocolate steamed pudding. I cooked it in large food tins covered with greased and pleated baking parchment and then tin foil, all secured with string with water halfway up the sides.
    At home I would do the same but with a pyrex or other heatproof bowl or even jug. Or is that what you don't have and I'm teaching you to suck eggs (or getting confused translating American English into British English! Wouldn't be the first time...)?!

    1. So I'm assuming you used tin cans at your camp? That's a clever idea.
      I think really I'm just nervous about water getting in. Plus a pudding mold is so much fancier. But perhaps I'll look around my kitchen and see if I can't find something to work with!

    2. Yes, the big catering-size food tins/cans as there were so many of us to feed. Even with the rather fast fire and the girls helping to keep the water level topped up, no water got in! I think the combination of paper and foil helps, but as long as you tie the paper layer securely it should be fine.

      It didn't look pretty, admittedly, but we were serving from the container anyway rather than unmoulding it. One of my smaller mixing bowls is heatproof- that would look quite nice turned out on a plate to serve. Better than a tin can, anyway!

  2. Interesting ... Never seen one like this before :-)