Cabinet pudding – but whose pudding was it?

I once worked in a hotel as a waitress; as well as our wages we were gen meals after service. They were very good, as I remember, and the one dish which was my favourite was cabinet pudding. It’s a traditional pud, also known as chancellor’s pudding… although which chancellor liked it I have no idea… however, it is at least two hundred years old – yes, 200! The first chancellor I can find was Sir Richard Sackville who held the office from 1559 to 1566…

Here is a recipe…

Cabinet pudding

  • 7 oz  dried fruit and candied peel
  • 4 sponge cakes
  • 1 oz of  ratafia biscuits
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tbsp caster sugar
  • 1 tsp cornflour
  • 16 fl oz single cream
  • the zest of ½ a lemon
  • 1 tbsp rum or brandy
  • Optional  jam  or jam sauce made with 3 tbsp apricot or raspberry jam, cold water, 1 tsp lemon juice
  1. cream the eggs, sugar and cornflour together making sure they are really well mixed
  2. heat the cream and lemon zest but don’t boil
  3. pour the cream onto the egg and sugar mixture and stir really, really well
  4. add the brandy or rum
  5. pour over the broken up  cakes and biscuits and the fruit
  6.  pour into a greased and lined souffle dish and let it all soak for about 15 minutes
  7.  cover the dish with foil and secure it with string like you might do for any other steamed pudding
  8.  steam over simmering water or in a steamer for an hour
  9.  it needs to stand for a few minutes to settle before you  turn it out

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