Monday, April 6, 2015

HFF #22: Make Do, or Do Without

The Challenge: Make an homage to historic ingenuity: work around a food scarcity or use historic substitutions.

The Receipt:  Quince Apple Pudding from Miss Leslie's Directions for Cookery, In Its Various Branches

QUINCE PUDDING. --Take six large ripe quinces; pare them, and cut out all the blemishes. Then scrape them to a pulp, and mix the pulp with half a pint of cream, and half a pound of powdered sugar, stirring them together very hard. Beat the yolks of seven eggs, (omitting all the whites except two,) and stir them gradually into the mixture, adding two wine glasses of rose water. Stir the whole well together and bake it in a buttered dish three quarters of an hour. Grate sugar over it when cold.

If you cannot obtain cream, you may substitute a quarter of a pound of fresh butter stirred with the sugar and quince.

A baked apple pudding may be made in the same manner.

The Internet suggests that quinces are, by mass, about half the size of a medium apple.

Date/Region: American (Philadelphia), 1840

How did you make it: Peel and core three large apples, stew in a saucepan with approximately 1/4 c. water until soft, then mash into a pulp.  Stir in 1/4 lb butter (1/2 cup) and 1/2 lb powdered sugar (scant 2 cups).  Beat 5 egg yokes and two whole eggs, and stir in with 4 oz of rose water (half the named amount, but still a lot of rosewater).  Bake in a buttered pie tin 60 min at 350F.  Sprinkled with granulated sugar when cool.

Time: Less than two hours

Cost: $5.00-ish depending on current cost of apples, amount of rosewater used

How successful was it: Well, it baked alright (was still liquid in the center after the suggested 45 minutes, so I baked it a further 15, at which point it had solidified).  The pudding tasted interesting: even at half strength, the rosewater nearly overwhelmed the apple flavor.  The texture was a lot like the pumpkin pudding I made last autumn, about which I'm ambivalent--the closet comparison would be a very moist pumpkin pie filling.

How accurate was it:  Halved the required rosewater (and probably would use even less in the future), and use the suggested/allowed substitutions of apple for quince and butter for cream.  

Apple Pudding, from an 1840 recipe.
Apple Pudding

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