Monday, May 11, 2020

Muffin Pudding 1826

English Muffins (in this case from Hannah Glasse, changed slightly by Richard Briggs in 1796) can be made into a pudding layered with dried cherries. Rundell's 1826 baked version contained brandy and orange-flower water. 


Leftover muffins (later called English Muffins) formed the base of the pudding by being either sliced thin, cut in half or quarters, "pare off the crust" or mash soaked muffins "with a wooden spoon."
I made these muffins during William Rubel's great zoom talk and baking workshop on "The English Muffin" last week. He noted that Glasse's 1747 recipe contained only 2 gallons of water - not nearly enough, which was corrected by Briggs in 1796 who changed it to 3 gallons of milk.

The muffins were soaked in brandy or boiled milk.  The slices were layered in a buttered mould with dried cherries, raisins, citron, candied peel or orange marmalade.  Other additions were orange flower water, rose water, almonds, coriander seeds, cinnamon, or nutmeg.

“Light white bread, cut thin, may be substituted for the muffins.  The pudding will be better if prepared three or four hours before it is boiled.”  [Dargairns 1850]

The recipe I used was from Rundell's 1826 which had the thin slices soaked in brandy.  The early muffin rings were four inches, and my muffins were smaller so I added more muffins.  I did not want to dig out a mould from my hearth cooking equipment in the basement, so I did two layers topped with the dried cherries.


1826 Muffin Pudding. 
Cut six stale muffins in the thinnest slices; lay them in a soup-plate with half a pint of brandy, with which baste them. Simmer half a pint of cream, with a good piece of genuine cinnamon broken, the grated peel of a lemon, and four ounces of sugar, ten minutes. Stir till cool; then mix with it, by degrees, the yolks of eight eggs well beaten. Butter a plain mould of moderate size; lay the crust side of the muffins outwards; and, with alternate layers of dried cherries, put the crum in. When cold, pour into it the cold custard, flavoured with orange-flower water. Let the mould stand in a dish of bran till the custard be sunk in; then bake it half an hour.  [Rundell 1826]

1802  Muffin Pudding with dried Cherries. 
To a pint and a half of milk add a few coriander seeds, a bit of lemon peel, sugar to the palate, and boil them together ten minutes. Then put four muffins into a pan, strain the milk over them, and, when they are cold, mash them with a wooden spoon; add half a gill of brandy, half a pound of dried cherries, a little grated nutmeg, two ounces of jordan almonds blanched and pounded very fine, and six eggs well beaten. Mix all together and boil in a bason, or bake it in a dish with paste round it.  [Mollard 1802]

1841  A Muffin Pudding.
Pour a pint of boiling milk on a muffin; then beat up three eggs, with a spoonful of sugar, a little spice, and an ounce of citron, cut small. Butter the dish, put the muffin into it, and divide it into four pieces with your spoon: beat up the milk with the eggs, and put it over the muffin.  Bake it half-an-hour. [Masters 1841]

Dalgairns, 1850 halved the muffins, pare off crust of two muffins and layer with preserves then pour warmed milk and 4 eggs and put in boiling water.  Light white bread, cut thin, may be substituted for the muffins.  The pudding will be better if prepared three or four hours before it is boiled.”

Francatelli 1874 used “six bruised bitter-almonds,” milk or cream, candied peel, orange marmalade, brandy, steamed and topped with almond whip.  Cut four muffins into fingers.

Lucy Jones 1877  recipe cut four muffins in half, sultana raisins, cream, brandy.

1898 Muffin Pudding
Take the outsides off three muffins, tear the insides into thin slices, and put them in a pint basin. Beat four eggs well, and take as much milk as the muffins will absorb. Let it stand a while, and do not stir it. Add a little sugar and dried cherries between every alternate layer of muffin.  Bake one hour.  [Roundell's 1898]

Past posts including one on muffin rings and pans HERE

Works cited
Dalgairns, Mrs.  The Practice of Cookery.  Edinburgh: 1850
Francatelli, Charles. The Cook's Guide and Housekeeper's & Butler's Assistant. London: 1874
Jones, Lucy.  Puddings & sweets, 365 receipts.  London: 1877
Masters, P.  The Young Cook's Assistant, and Housekeeper's Guide. London: 1841
Mollard, John.  The Art of Cookery made Easy and Refined. London: 1802
Mrs. Roundell's Practical Cookery Book. London: 1898
Rundell, Maria Eliza.  A New System of Domestic Cookery.  London: 1826

©2020 Patricia Bixler Reber
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