The word pudding is probably from a source which means something like a sausage, a contained mixture of meat and grain and flavourings – the container might be a rag, like a pudding cloth, or it might be a skin, like a sausage skin. However if you ask most British people if they like pudding, they won’t immediately think of a savoury pudding such as steak and kidney pudding, or black pudding (like the French boudin which is a word with the same origin) they will think of the sweet course which comes after the main course of a meal, a dessert, ‘afters’, pudding. In a general sense, someone could mean apple pie, treacle tart, jam roly-poly – but a real pudding is boiled, streamed or baked in the oven.
In the book I came across at a friend’s house, Good Cookery, written in 1920 by Winifred Francillon, she has a whole section on puddings, and I copied three pages; college, currant, date and equality puddings on page 183, fig, French rice, Gloucester, golden and Gretna puddings on the next page, lemon, and marmalade I, II and II (cheap) and plum duff or spotted dog on page 185… and there were more puddings after that!
Most of these recipes were made with flour and / or breadcrumbs, suet, sugar and flavourings but the French rice pudding was made with rice – obviously. Rice pudding, a great favourite, is so easy to make although each family will have its own traditional recipe, pudding rice (round grained) milk and sugar with a scrape of nutmeg on the top! This is the French recipe:
- 3 oz rice
- 3 oz sugar
- 2 oz chopped suet
- 3 oz raisins
- 1 oz chopped peel
- 2 eggs
- 1 pint milk
- cook the rice in the milk until soft
- add all other ingredients and steam in a greased mould till firm (2 hours)
- turn out and serve with a good sweet sauce (marmalade)
I think I might replace the suet with butter, and probably add a spice like nutmeg or allspice, but otherwise it sounds nice… now how do I make the marmalade sauce?