Tag Archives: Pudding

Rhubarb Pudding


One of my spring rites is making rhubarb pudding from the plants that have grown along the garden wall since well before my time, and I’ve lived here for several decades.  I’ve added some of the new, deeper red rhubarb plants over the years, but only one has survived.  This improved cultivar seems to lack the vigor of the old.  So I cut a few stalks from it, then return to the faithful clumps for the bulk of my harvest.  Today was my first pilgrimage to the rhubarb patch and I returned to the kitchen with a goodly supply of stalks.  Now the pudding is chilling in the fridge in the big brown and white pottery bowl I’ve had for ages.

I love this stuff.  Not everyone does and rhubarb may be an acquired taste, but many of our little people like it, and young children haven’t had much of an opportunity to acquire a taste.

I don’t use an actual recipe because, as with many old Southern dishes, my mother-in-law taught me how to make this, and I’ve adapted it somewhat, but I’ll take a stab at a recipe for you.

Cut or purchase several good handfuls of rhubarb. The amount can vary. Chop the stems into two inch pieces and put them in a large saucepan (I use a 2-3 quart one) and barely cover with water.  Simmer, stirring frequently, until the stems are completely broken down.  Then whisk the cooked pieces until smooth.  Season with sugar to taste (I use about one to two cups depending on the amount).  Add two-three heaping tablespoons of instant tapioca (again, depending on how much liquid you’ve used) and simmer until the tiny pearls are clear. Add 2-3 tablespoons of strawberry gelatin and stir until dissolved.  Set mixture aside and chill in fridge until it sets. Add cut up strawberries if available after the pudding has cooled.

Old English Plum Pudding from The Virginia House-Wife Cookbook


Old English Plum Pudding~

Beat eight eggs very light, add to them a pound of flour sifted, and a pound of powdered sugar; when it looks quite light, put in a pound of suet finely shredded, a pint of milk, a nutmeg grated, and a gill of brandy; mix with a pound of dried currants, and a pound of raisins stoned and floured–tie in a thick cloth and boil it steadily for eight hours.

A variation of that theme is just called Plum Pudding:

Take a pound of best flour, sift it, and make it up before sunrise, with six eggs beaten light; a large spoonful of good yeast, and as much milk as will make it the consistency of bread (dough); let it rise well, knead into it a half pound of butter, put in a grated nutmeg, with one and a half pounds of raisins stoned and cut up; mix well together, wet the cloth, flour it, and tie it loosely, that the pudding may have room to rise.

*Raisins for pudding or cakes should be rubbed in a little flour to prevent their settling to the bottom–see that it does not stick to them in lumps. *Cloths for boiling puddings should be made of German sheeting; an article less thick will admit water and injure the pudding.

She doesn’t say anything more than this. I’m assuming this pudding is also to be boiled for the above mentioned eight hours. I never made either but thought they looked fascinating.

In doing more investigation on English plum pudding, I came across a wonderful account and old recipe with more details. He says to cover the pot in which you’re boiling the pudding and check to be sure it doesn’t boil dry: http://www.homemade-dessert-recipes.com/plum-pudding-recipe.html