Waldorf Pudding on the Titanic

Mon, Apr 28 • 4

Research turns up two ancient recipes for this Titanic dessert — but which one is the one they served?

You may remember my entry from a few weeks ago where I described all of the food served in the elaborate ten course meal in the first class dining room of the RMS Titanic on the night it sank, April 14, 1912. In it, I was unable to provide the recipe for the dessert named Waldorf Pudding, but I speculated that it didn’t necessarily have to have apples, raisins, or walnuts just because those were signature ingredients in another recipe named after the New York hotel, the Waldorf Salad.

Well, a bit of research turned up a couple of cookbooks dating back to the turn of the 20th century. One is the Calvary Presbyterian Church Ladies Aid Society (of Springfield, Mo.) Cookbook, dated 1903 … A “Mrs. Milligan” submitted a recipe for Waldorf Pudding that clearly contains apples. It is as follows :

A WALDORF PUDDING.
Fill a buttered pudding dish with peeled and sliced apples, alternating layers of stale cake or bread crumbs and allowing two tablespoonfuls of melted butter to each pint of apples. Crumbs should be on top. Set in a moderate oven to bake until the apples are tender. Pour over a cup of milk and two eggs beaten with half a cup of sugar and bake to a pretty brown. Serve with cream. — Mrs. Milligan.

On the other hand, in another cookbook, called Everyday Desserts, by Olive Green, dated 1911, there’s another recipe that has no apples at all:

WALDORF PUDDING
Break up half a pound of stale lady-fingers and cook to a smooth paste with a quart of cream. Add half a cupful of sugar, three tablespoonfuls of butter, a wineglassful of sherry, and a sprinkling of grated nutmeg. Cool, add the well-beaten yolks of four eggs and three tablespoonfuls of almonds blanched and pounded to a paste with lemon-juice. Turn into a baking-dish, sprinkle with sugar, and bake in a quick oven.


Blackberry Pie

Wed, Apr 23 • 6

In honor of the Cooking Monster Pie Contest, here’s the recipe for my favorite pie.

My brother swears by tapioca as a thickener for pie filling, but I use flour because I always have it fresh and handy. I also keep my Crisco in the refrigerator, because I only use it for pie dough, and it’s better to keep it cold for that.

Crust:

2 c flour (10 ounces by weight)
¼ t salt
¼ t sugar
zest of one lemon, chopped fine
1½ sticks of frozen butter, chopped into ½” cubes
1 T Crisco (solid vegetable shortening)
1/3rd cup ice water

Put the flour, sugar, lemon zest, and the salt in your food processor bowl, and pulse a couple times. Add the butter and the Crisco, and pulse 10 times. Add the water and pulse 10 times more. The dough should be crumbly but will stick together if you squeeze a small handful.

Put it all in a ziplock, and form into a round patty. Put in the fridge for at least half an hour, or longer if you can afford to. (You can use it right away if you must.)

Filling:

6 c. fresh or partially thawed frozen blackberries
2 tsp. lemon juice
1 to 1 1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. all purpose flour
2 tbsp. butter
1 egg yolk
1/2 tsp. water

Preheat oven to 400°. Line your pie pan with half of the dough. In large bowl combine blackberries and lemon juice; toss. In another bowl, combine the sugar and flour; sprinkle over blackberries and toss until well coated. Spoon into pastry-lined pie plate. Dot with butter. Top with remaining pastry.

Mix the egg and water to make an egg wash, and brush over the dough, and sprinkle with a little extra sugar. Cut a few holes in the dough to vent. Put the whole thing on a lined tray, and bake for 1 hour. Remove it from the oven, and let set for at least 45 minutes.


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