Monday, July 4, 2016

HFF 2.14: Waste Not, Want Not

The Historical Food Fortnightly Icon

The Challenge: Make a dish which averts waste.

The Receipt: Baked Bread Pudding from Mrs. Beeton's Book of Household Management:

1250. INGREDIENTS – 1/2 lb. of grated bread, 1 pint of milk, 4 eggs, 4 oz. of butter, 4 oz. of moist sugar, 2 oz. of candied peel, 6 bitter almonds, 1 tablespoonful of brandy.

Mode.—Put the milk into a stewpan, with the bitter almonds; let it infuse for 1/4 hour; bring it to the boiling point; strain it on to the bread crumbs, and let these remain till cold; then add the eggs, which should be well whisked, the butter, sugar, and brandy, and beat the pudding well until all the ingredients are thoroughly mixed; line the bottom of a pie-dish with the candied peel sliced thin, put in the mixture, and bake for nearly 3/4 hour.

The Date/Year and Region: 1861, British

How Did You Make It: Brought 16 oz of milk to a boil, stirred in 1 tsp. almond extract (subsituted for the bitter almonds), and poured over 8 oz of shredded bread.  Beat 4 eggs, added 4 oz butter, 4 oz sugar, 1 Tbsp brandy and mixed well.  Sliced 2 oz of homemade candied peel, and arranged in a pie pan.  Mixed softened bread and other ingredients, then pressed into the prepared pan.  Baked approximately 45 minutes at 350F.

Time to Complete: Just over an hour

Total Cost: All ingredients on hand.

How Successful Was It?:  Well-received at the potluck.  I thought the taste worked great: the almond was distinct, but not overwhelming, and the candied peel provided a nice contrast.  It wasn't overly sweet, and might even stand to have a little more sugar next time; I didn't notice any taste of brandy in the finished pudding. The texture was mostly good, though I found it a tad damp along the pan edges, and next time I would be tempted plate it early and allow it to dry a little.  I'll likely make this receipt again, since it went over so well.

How Accurate Is It?:  I substituted 1 tsp almond extract for 6 bitter almonds; the amount is pure guesswork, but I'm satisfied with how it turned out.  Shredding rather than grating the bread was my other main substitution, but that also seemed to work fine--a bit chunky on the top edge, but well-incorporated elsewhere.  No bread type was specified in this receipt, so I used what I had on hand (a sourdough baguette with a few bits of pumpernickel to make the weight).

Baked Bread Pudding from Mrs. Beeton's (1861)

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