Simple Apple Pudding

Apple Pudding (Time 0_01_17;08)
So I haven’t found much about soldiers doing boiled puddings yet, but there is a piece in Joseph Plum Martin’s book about soldiers coming and stealing a woman’s food, including her pudding, bag and all.

There are many period recipes that cover putting apples inside of a pudding and boiling it, so I thought we’d put together a simple pudding that a soldier could have made with nothing but flour and an apple off of a tree wrapped in a little bit of scrap cloth. Just what a soldier might be able to make.

  • 1 Whole Apple
  • Couple handfuls of Flour
  • Water

First you want to make sure that you have your pot of water to boil on the fire and in the water you need to place your cloth for your pudding.

Apple Pudding (Time 0_02_13;23)
So let’s make up a very simple paste with nothing but flour and water. We’re just going to take about two handfuls of flour, add in some nice cool water, and then mix it up. We want it to be a thick, but not very stiff, paste. We want to be able to form it around the apple without fighting it. It will thicken up a little more as you prepare your apple.

Apple Pudding (Time 0_02_42;15)
Once your paste is ready, we need to take the apple and quarter it, removing the seeds and stem. Now take the quartered apple and put it back together into an apple shape and take the paste, and we’re just going to wrap it around that apple so it’s about a quarter of an inch thick. It will grow as it cooks so it doesn’t need to be terribly thick.

Apple Pudding (Time 0_03_15;13)
At this point, you can remove your cloth carefully from the boiling water and dust it with flour. Once that is done, set your pudding in the center and gather up the edges to tie it. Don’t tie it too tight, you definitely want to give it a little bit of room so that it can grow while it’s cooking. Then go toss it in the boiling water.

This should take about an hour for this apple pudding.

Apple Pudding (Time 0_08_18;18)You’d be amazed with nothing but a little bit of flour and one apple what you can turn out. It is really good.

Transcript of Video:

So in last week’s episode, we covered a simple boiled plum pudding, which consisted of equal parts flour, milk, eggs, butter, and the plums or raisins in that case, but I thought we would look at the boiled puddings and explore this idea a little bit farther. I think there’s a lot more to learn.

So here’s a little piece that I ran into while I was doing research. It’s from a 1780 gentleman’s monthly intelligence. It was a section on diet. It says, “There is at this time residing in Essex a person famed for his mode of living. Being formally reduced to a state of general weakness from free and luxurious living, he took up a resolution of dieting himself thus, he has a pound of flour and a pint of cold water mixed and then tied up in a cloth and boiled and on this food he’s lived entirely for many years. Though he is old, he is hardy, strong, vigorous and active.”

I thought that was very interesting, somebody living on nothing but flour, a flour pudding, boiled, and then I was thinking about soldiers living on nothing but their meat and a simple flour ration.

Also, many period recipes cover putting apples inside of a pudding and boiling that. Those two ideas, I thought we’d put together and make a simple soldier style pudding. Nothing but flour, an apple off of a tree and wrapped in a little bit of scrap cloth. Just what a soldier might be able to make.

So let’s make up a very simple, nothing but flour and water  paste. We’re just going to take about two handfuls of flour and we’re going to add in some nice cool water and then mix that up. We kind of want it to be not very stiff kind of a paste here. Okay, so not too stiff. We want to be able to form it around it without it fighting.

Once that’s ready, we need to take our apple and I’ve already quartered this. We’re going to take out the seeds and the stem.

Let’s take our quartered apple and put it back together into an apple shape and then take our paste, which has thickened up a little bit as I was working on it, and we’re just going to wrap it around that apple so it’s all about a quarter of an inch thick. It grows as it cooks so it doesn’t need to be terribly thick.

And there we can see, now we can put this inside of our floured cloth.

There we are.

And let’s flour this up.

And now it’s time to wrap it up in the cloth. We’re just going to set it in the center and gather it up, and you definitely want to give it a little bit of room so that it can grow while it’s cooking. Not too tight. Let’s go toss it in.

Let’s make sure our water is boiling and it should take about an hour for this apple pudding. While this is cooking, we’re going to cover a quaking pudding. Those don’t take very long to cook either.

So, quaking pudding is much more like that modern day pudding idea that we have in our heads. Let’s take a look at the ingredients.

So, let’s put together this pudding. We’re going to put together our dry ingredients first and then our wet ingredients. We’re going to need about a half a cup of flour. Now we don’t have to be precise. This is definitely different than the plum pudding. The ratios are much different, a lot less flour and a lot more liquid parts. About a half a cup of flour, now let’s put in, we need about 2 tablespoons of sugar, we’ve got this pretty much all ground up.

There we are.

We need some salt, maybe a half a teaspoon of salt. We’re definitely going to need some of those same kind of spices. We’ve got some mace here, a teaspoon full. We’ve got some ground ginger, same amount. So, you’ll need a quarter to a half of a nutmeg grated up. For our last dry ingredient I have some almonds here. I’ve got maybe a half a cup of slivered almonds here. We’re going to mash these up.

Once these are good and mashed up, we can add these to our dry ingredients, the rest of them here. There we are.

Now we need a cup of heavy cream and four eggs. We actually want two whole eggs and just the yolks of the other two and then we’re going to whisk these together, so there are eggs in our cream. You want to get these whisked really well.

Now that we’ve got these all mixed, put our wet and dry ingredients together.

There we are.

Once these are well mixed, we need to get our pudding cloth ready. Okay, now we’ve got our cloth but instead of putting it in the boiling water and then flouring it, this one we want to seal a little tighter, so we’re going to butter it first and then flour it. Get it to seal all the way into our fabric there. Now once it’s buttered, we can just put our flour on just like before.

Now we can take our buttered and floured cloth and put it in the bowl and pour our pudding mix in.

There we are, and tie it up.

This is another pudding that you want to give a little bit of room to grow. And there we go, and it’s ready to go in. Let’s make sure that water’s boiling.

Okay, this quaking pudding should take about a half hour to cook.

Now that that quaking pudding is cooking, we’re going to make a quick sauce with some butter and some sugar.

When you use these pipkins, you want to make sure that you don’t put them on direct heat with flames. You want to use them only on coals. You want to make sure that you always have something in them or else they get too hot and they’ll crack and use them gently with gentle heat.

It’s been about a half hour for the quaking pudding and about an hour for the apple one, so both of those should be ready to come out.

Let’s cut open this apple pudding or apple dumpling.

And there is our pudding. Let’s slice it and see how it turned out.

Look at that.

You’d be amazed with nothing but a little bit of flour and one apple what you can turn out. It is really good.

So I haven’t found much about soldiers doing boiled puddings yet, but there is a piece in Joseph Plum Martin’s book about soldiers coming and stealing a woman’s food, including her pudding, bag and all.

Now for our quaking pudding. This one’s a little bit more, you have to be more gentle with it. Now let’s dress this up with a few slivered almonds and then put sauce on top.

Wow, that’s delectable. You’ll love this wonderful quaking pudding. A lot more custardy than the other one. It’s not nearly as bready and that butter and sugar on top with the almonds, it looks beautiful and it tastes good.

You’ve got no excuse. You really must try one of these wonderful boiled puddings. Hey, all the things you’ve seen here today, all the cooking equipment, all the clothing, all these things are available on our website, they’re available in our print catalog and don’t forget to follow us on Facebook.

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3 Responses to Simple Apple Pudding

  1. Barbara says:

    Watched Video. loved it. Only you need a way to print directions that are above.

  2. My Appalachian mother used to core and cut an apple into small pieces, sprinkle with cinnamon and a little sugar, wrap the apple pieces in a dough, like the one in your recipe, set the little balls of apple and dough in a greased pan and bake. I think she cut the apples into pieces because there were 10 of us and, being kids, did not eat as much as adults. She called them apple dumplings but it sounds as if this recipe and hers were very similar. Sometimes, if we were very lucky, she put a small scoop of ice cream on top of the dumpling. Thank you for reminding me of this.

  3. Chad Crader says:

    What kind of cloth do you recommend?

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