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 :

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:

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.

The Last Meal on the Titanic – The Other Classes

Wed, Apr 16 • 1

What the second and third class passengers on the Titanic ate.

As an aside and an update to the last entry about the Titanic, some people who saw it were wondering what the other people on the ship were eating. The 2nd Class Dinner Menu for April 14, 1912 lists :

Baked Haddock
Sharp Sauce
Curried Chicken & Rice
Spring Lamb, Mint Sauce
Roast Turkey, Cranberry Sauce
Green Peas
Purée Turnips
Boiled Rice

Boiled & Roast Potatoes
Plum Pudding
Wine Jelly
Cocoanut Sandwich (sic)
American Ice Cream
Nuts Assorted

Aside from the coconut sandwich, nothing is particularly unusual or foreign from food most of us would still eat today.

As for the 3rd class passengers, they apparently didn’t have a separate menu for all of their meals. A surviving copy indicates they were offered:

Breakfast: Oatmeal, porridge and milk, smoked herrings, jacket potatoes, ham and eggs, fresh bread & butter, marmalade, Swedish bread, tea and coffee.

(Jacket Potatoes is another name for normal baked potatoes. Fannie Farmer said, in 1918, that Swedish bread was a kind of yeast risen coffee cake, shaped into a braid or a ring, and flavored with almonds.)

Dinner: Rice soup, fresh bread, cabin biscuits, roast beef and brown gravy, sweet corn, boiled potatoes, plum pudding, sweet sauce and fruit.

Tea: Cold meat, cheese and pickles, fresh bread and butter, stewed figs and rice, and tea.

Supper: Gruel, cabin biscuits and cheese.

(Gruel is a hot, wet mixture of some type of cereal, wheat or rye flour, and also rice, boiled in water or milk, similar to oatmeal. According to Technology of Biscuits, Crackers and Cookies, Second Edition, by Duncan Manley, (2000), cabin biscuits are thin butter cookies, usually flavored with vanilla, but not a lot of sugar. )

You may also be interested in reading about what the first class passengers on the Titanic were eating.

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