Sunday, February 2, 2014

Addy's Apple Pudding

A really interesting hybrid of two popular pies!

Despite my enthusiasm for the Boston Red Sox, I am not actually a sports fan in the slightest, and yet I somehow am being forced to watch the Super Bowl. Or the "Big Game", I don't know if the NFL will come hunt me down if I call it by its proper name over here.

The one good thing that came of this is that I had lots of people over to taste test some new recipes, and this one in particular I think was a hit. It's very similar to the sweet potato pudding I made for Addy at Christmastime in terms of construction, but since the recipe treats it more like a pie, it actually has a lot more in common with a pumpkin pie than what we'd think of as a pudding. It was a nice, low key dessert to make, especially so soon after making the nian gao, and while it's definitely not a traditional sports party treat, I still think we made a good choice in deciding to give it a shot.

In non sports related news, today is also Groundhog Day! My sister's boyfriend had the honor of meeting our state's groundhog Chuckles, and apparently it didn't see his shadow, so there is some debate about whether or not that "counts" or not because apparently Punxsutawney Phil did. Either way, I'm betting we're going to have a couple more weeks of winter ahead of us and I am... kind of tired of it. I know this isn't really a winter-y recipe, but I really wanted something that was a little different and I think this fit the bill. Instead of being your traditional sweet, cinnamon apple pie flavor, this pudding brings out the tartness of the apples, and has just enough lemon in it to make this tangy and fresh instead of homey and warm. Definitely a nice shake up from traditional fall and winter flavors!

This recipe comes from The History Kitchen, which is a truly excellent blog with a lot of great recipes and discussion of food through the years. Everything looks gorgeous, and I wish my pictures were half as good as hers! A lot of the recipes she features are the genuine article or close to it in that she does a lot of research into the dish and tries to get as authentic a recipe as possible. This recipe is Sarah Hale's Apple Pudding from her 1841 cookbook The Good Housekeeper. For those who don't know, Sarah Hale is the woman responsible for Thanksgiving becoming a national holiday and was a popular enough writer that Addy and girls like her might have enjoyed some of her recipes.

The recipe starts off with six large apples. Our peeler is starting to get kind of dull, so peeling apples requires getting out a paring knife. It takes forever, and I often feel like I'm cutting off too much of the apple's meat while I'm doing it, but once that's out of the way, it's about as straight forward as making the applesauce for our latkes was.

Once they're cooked, you fish out the lemon peels and mash up the apples. This is supposed to cool off before you put anything else in it, because you obviously don't want the apples to cook the eggs or curdle the cream or anything, but it took an irritatingly long time for it to cool down. I finally just shoved it in the fridge for a while to help it get to room temperature.

After it's cooled down, you add the brown sugar, cream, lemon juice and eggs to the apples and mix everything together.

This gets spooned into pie crusts. You can make your own pie crusts, but I was not in the mood and decided premade was good enough for me.

I thought it was interesting that this was considered a pudding even though it had a crust. I imagine you can probably just cook this in a dish like we did with the sweet potato pudding if you're not looking for a pie, but I was kind of excited to see what this pumpkin pie/apple pie hybrid would taste like.

Mine were okay to take out of the oven after an hour and twenty minutes, but the recipe said it could take up to an hour in a half for the centers to set.

The puffiness kind of collapsed on itself after they cooled off a bit, but they had a really nice color to them even if they looked kind of plain.

Now, I didn't follow the recipe exactly in one important way: you're supposed to garnish with candied lemon peels. There's a recipe for these provided, but it kind of sounded like too much of a pain to bother with today, especially since said recipe requires four lemons and we only had two in the house. They definitely help them look pretty, so maybe next time I'll see what I can do.

Anyway, it's supposed to be served room temperature or cool, and I really enjoyed it! It doesn't have an obvious lemon flavor to it, but cooking it with the lemons definitely helped make this a tangy apple dish. The recipe notes that if you're looking for it to be more "modern", you can add an extra third of a cup of brown sugar, but I honestly didn't think it needed it. It was dessert-y enough to me with the original sugar measurement, and had a slightly wetter texture than a pumpkin pie, although that might just be because of how long it was in the oven or how wet the apples I used were.

Overall, this was a really nice treat to end the day with. I'm starting to wonder why puddings like this have kind of fallen out of favor with the American dessert menu, because (with the exception of the pumpkin pudding) the ones we've done over the last few months have been really tasty. This was pretty easy to make and I would definitely recommend giving it a shot if you're looking for something a little different to tide you over until springtime.

It makes enough to share, too!


  1. This looks really good! I might have to try it myself!

    1. It was a super low stress pie to make, I am totally loving these puddings. Anything that just requires some mixing together and leaving alone in the oven for a while is awesome in my book!

  2. Huh, when I first looked at the picture I thought you had gotten Addy's cook book and made Sweet Potato Pone for a second (obviously I did not pay close attention to the title of the recipe :v)
    Speaking of, I'm sorry I never got around to the scans of Addy's cookbook that I offered a while back. I kept pushing it aside to do other stuff and I ended up not doing any kind of AG scans during my winter break >-<

    1. Hey, no worries! Winter break is always a void of thinking you have way more time to do stuff than you actually do, so I totally understand. c: I hope you had a nice one and that the new semester's off to a good start!

  3. I tried that one too. I left out the lemon and added nutmeg and mace. I cut out dough scraps into leaves and decorated the top of the pudding for Thanksgiving. A pudding is a pie without the top crust.

    1. Not all historical puddings had crusts! Some were baked directly in pans or vessels.