Queen’s pudding, Eve’s pudding, Queen Mab’s pudding?

It’s autumn, and for people who like puddings this is definitely pudding season! Here is something i wrote last year about Eve’s pudding:

Eve’s pudding… I somehow get it confused with queen of puddings or queen’s pudding… one is fruit and sponge and one is meringue and fruit… isn’t it? or am I in a total muddle? Consulting my trusty National Mark Calendar of Cooking for October, I see Eve’s pudding is the one with the sponge… so Queen’s pudding is the one with meringue… but when I look it up I find it also has sponge…

I don’t remember my mum making either, but I do remember eating one of these puddings and it wasn’t very nice, slimy with wet stuff at the bottom and the meringue chewy in a not nice way…

Eve’s pudding, apparently sometimes called Mother Eve’s pudding is at least two hundred years old, but I’m sure as with so many of these old traditional recipes, people have been making a version of it forever. “Oh we have a surfeit for fruit, surely we’re not having fruit pie again? Oh look we also have some eggs, why don’t we make a cake and put it with the fruit?!” Eliza Acton has a recipe for Queen Mab’s pudding, but it is not at all the same – it sounds a delicious and very rich cream and egg custard dessert flavoured with dried cherries, preserved ginger and its syrup, pistachio nuts, and a sauce of strawberries and raspberries or plums and pineapple…

Back to Eve’s pudding, which would have had a suet sponge before the invention of baking powder, and was a simplified version of the Duke of Cumberland’s pudding… here is the National Mark recipe:

Eve’s pudding

  • 1 lb of apples, peeled, cored, sliced
  • 3 oz sugar
  • 1 lemon
  • small piece of butter

for the mixture:

  • 4 oz flour (self-raising or add ½ tsp baking powder)
  • 2 oz butter
  • 2 oz sugar
  • 1 egg
  • a little milk
  1. cook the apples in a little water, with the sugar, butter, zest and juice of lemon, and put into a pie dish
  2. cream butter and sugar
  3. beat in the egg and fold in the flour
  4. add a little milk if the mixture is too stiff
  5. pour mixture onto apples and bake in a moderate oven for 45 mins-1 hour (don’t undercook)


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