Plum pudding 18th century cooking with Jas Townsend and Son S4E6

Plum pudding 18th century cooking with Jas Townsend and Son S4E6

Today I’m going to be doing something a
little different. A dish that was popular all the way from the
mid-18th century to the 20th century, found in British cookbooks and also popular in colonial
America. We’re going to be making a hunter’s pudding. Thanks for joining us today on 18th Century
Cooking with Jas Townsend and Son. A hunter’s pudding is a type of plum pudding
and a plum in this context means raisins. Plum puddings were often associated with special
occasions, served during certain holidays or when visitors came to visit. The name hunter’s pudding may be a bit deceiving. We need to be careful about assuming that
it was a favorite dish for backwoodsmen. Rather, a hunter’s pudding was likely a
pudding that would have been reserved for various special occasions such as a formal
hunt, but that’s not to say ordinary people didn’t enjoy a hunter’s pudding on occasion. Hunter’s puddings were popular from the
mid 1700’s up until the beginning of the 20th century. Let’s get started. We’re going to be making a recipe from “The
Lady’s Assistant”, a 1775 cookbook published from Charlotte Mason’s manuscripts. We’re making half batches today, so if you
want to make a full size batch, all you’ll need is double the ingredients. It will change the cooking time, so we’ll
talk about that as we cook it, but to start, let’s look at the ingredients. I’m using a half pound of flour and a half
pound of suet. Now when I say suet, I mean kidney fat. In a previous episode, we explored the difference
between suet and hard muscle fat and when it comes to making puddings, there’s a huge
difference, so if you go to your butcher to ask for suet, make sure he gives you kidney
fat. If you can’t find kidney fat to use or if
you have neither the time nor the inclination to render it yourself, Jas Townsend and Son
now carries Atora shredded suet. This suet is made from rendered kidney fat. It’s stabilized with a little flour. Because it’s rendered properly, it doesn’t
need refrigerating. In addition, we’re using a half a pound
of currants. Unlike the fleshy red berries that go by the
same name and are related to the gooseberry, these currants are small dried seedless Corinthian
grapes. Also in our pudding we’ll be using about
4 ounces of raisins. Now raisins in the 18th century had seeds
in them so they had to be cut open and seeds removed before they could be used in a recipe
like this. There were different kinds of raisins in the
18th century. The best of the raisins were dried in the
sun as opposed to dried in ovens. These were called raisins of the sun and most
of the time they were imported in jars so they would be many times called jar raisins. The best of these raisins were called Malaga
or Muscato raisins. They were grown in Spain and imported throughout
much of Europe and North America. Our modern raisins are similar in quality
to a midlevel jar raisin of the 18th century while having the convenience of being seedless. Next we’re going to be adding a couple of
tablespoons of candied orange peel and candied citron. Our recipe will also use about a teaspoon
of nutmeg and 3-4 tablespoons of brandy. Now here’s something interesting about the
addition of brandy into these puddings, it started to be added in the second half of
the 18th century and in many of the recipes they find that the addition of the brandy
helped in the preservation of the pudding and many times its noted that the puddings
can be kept for up to 6 months if you keep the pudding still wrapped in its pudding cloth
and kept up out of reach. This allowed cooks to make multiple puddings
at once, serving one immediately and the others later on. Finally, back to our recipe, we’ll need
4 eggs and 1 cup of cream. Now that’s it for the ingredients. Now that we’ve gathered them up, let’s
put this pudding together. Preparing this pudding’s going to be very
easy. We’re just going to add all of our dry ingredients
plus our sweetmeats. And don’t forget to add the nutmeg. That’s mixed quite well. Okay, now that our dry ingredients are done,
let’s move on to our wet ingredients. Let’s whisk our eggs together. And then we’re going to add in our cream
and our last wet ingredient, our brandy. Now let’s add this to our dry ingredients. It should make a pretty thick paste. Now when you’re going to boil a pudding,
there are a few things you have to have ready to go. You need a couple of pots of water boiling. Our large one will be for boiling the pudding
itself. The smaller pot we’ll use to refill the
water as the water boils away. You’ll also need a clean piece of cloth. One for each of the puddings you’re going
to boil. Linen makes a really good pudding cloth. The water makes the fibers swell up and the
weave even tighter. You can also use cotton osnaburg. Go ahead and scald these cloths. You’ll also need a stout cord to tie the
cloth off with. Remove the cloths from the boiling water and
dust each with a little flour, then set each one aside, flour side up, into a bowl. Gather your pudding dough and place it on
top of the cloth. Tie the bag tightly around the dough. Now it’s time to put this in the boiling
water and boil it for 3 hours. You want to make sure to only replenish this
water with boiling water. You want this water to not stop boiling at
any time, because that will increase your cooking time. Now like I said, this is a half size pudding. If you’re going to be doing a full size
pudding, you’ll want to boil this for 4 hours. Okay, the hunter’s pudding has boiled 3
hours. You’ll need a bucket of cold water on hand. By dipping the hot pudding in the cold water
for a few seconds it will make it easier to get the cloth off without damaging the surface
of your pudding. If you don’t want to spend 4 or 5 hours
boiling a pudding at your next event, you can cook these ahead of time. You can cook these the week before if you
leave them in their pudding cloth, then you can take them to the event, when you’re
ready to use them, you can either boil them for an hour right before you need them or
you can slice them cold and then either fry them or broil them. These puddings were usually served with a
sauce and the sauce we’re using here is the most common type which is equal parts
of butter, sugar, and sac. Let’s give these a try. And they’re a very dense and rich kind of
food here. These are chalk full of raisins and they’re
nice and sweet. In fact, compared to today’s palate, 18th
folks were not used to such sweet things, so it’s likely that this would be the sweetest
thing they would eat all year long. These would make a great addition or finish
to a nice period meal and because you can fix them the week ahead of time, they’re
a perfect kind of thing you can pull out of the hat and fry these up from something that’s
been prepared without spending the 4 hours of boiling them at the event. You should really try these. These are wonderful dishes. Very nice. This recipe and many others are available
on our cooking blog. We also have an image reference blog of 17th
and 18th century paintings and drawings called Make sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel
so you don’t miss any upcoming episodes. And finally, our online catalog and our printed
catalog that has hundreds of 18th and 19th century men’s and women’s clothing, historical
cooking items, and camping items. I want to thank you for joining us today as we savor the flavors and the aromas of the 18th century.

100 thoughts on “Plum pudding 18th century cooking with Jas Townsend and Son S4E6”

  1. Yes very similar to the Clootie Dumpling from Scotland. I made one to a friends wife recipe while I was working in KSA. It turned out well with a skin which soon formed in heat of the day. However it was my fathers job as a lad in Scotland to turn the pudding once it was turned out infant of the fire to set the skin to a glaze like finish. The Scots recipe has no eggs and cream and but I expect both are delicious. Here is a Scot making one.

  2. My grandparents make this every christmas. We call it indian pudding, my grandfather makes the best batches. Cheers from Canada and a happy new year!

  3. I made this for Christmas, rendering my own suet (which was an experience in itself). I found that, although the suet had a slight "animal" smell" before being added to the recipe, once cooked, the pudding REALLY smelled of the suet. Perhaps it is because I have been eating so little of animal products that my nose was so sensitive?  Who knows, but I now have some lovely rendered suet in my freezer that I may try to use in candles (mixed with beeswax?). Guess I'll not do any other puddings requiring suet after this failed (to my tastebuds) experiment. Do one your shows, though.

  4. Talk about puddings that even the favourite today look at the British Christmas pudding. Ok it's not made in a cloth anymore however it's still board and water.

  5. This reminds me of a fruitcake.
    Does anyone know why a cakelike sweet is called a pudding and a creamy liquid like desert is also called a pudding?

  6. Thats pretty much the same recipe my gran used to cook her boiled puddings for Christmas. Haven’t had one since she passed away.

  7. This one makes me think of A Christmas Carol , with the scene of the Cratchit family gathering around the table for a freshly boiled plum pudding.

  8. I like raisins, but to hear that Plum Pudding meant Raisin Pudding – "took the wind out of my sails"

  9. I just started getting into all of your fabulous cooking and history this week, and you guys not only have fantastic content, but the editing and presentation is superlative! You have a great camera presence and the framing and post-work is natural and wonderfully done. Thanks a ton for what you do!

  10. This would be lovely fried in butter and sprinkled with a little freshly grated nutmeg and served with custard or ice cream. We used to make a very similar pudding at Christmas as our family was not that keen on the sticky dark English Christmas pudding, and a cold slice fried up the next day was my favourite part lol. As others have mentioned , very close to what the scots call clooty dumpling. Interestingly, the recipe is from my fathers side of the family, which is Samoan. There is a lot of European influence on Samoa and the other pacific islands (tho our personal history is Irish rather than Scottish), so maybe it’s a variation on that.

  11. It’s a Christmas Pudding!! Of sorts . Puddings are different from pies in that they are steamed not baked . My Nan made a lovely steamed meat pudding … suet!! All that fat !! No low fat now … funny but I was skinny then !!

  12. Thank-you for your excellent video series, they are really informative, entertaining and give a great picture for my imagination of life and survival from that time period. Well done.

  13. My mother used to make one for Christmas dinner, about the size of a melon, custard and cream poured over the top. She would scrub and boil thruppenny and sixpenny bits (3 penny and 6 penny coins) and add them to the pudding batter before bagging and boiling. Good luck tokens for the coming year.
    Before cutting it brandy was poured over and set alight, very exciting!
    Your vid brought back wonderful memories.

  14. I still enjoy my great grandmothers plum pudding recipe during the holidays. Passed down from the 18th century. Very similar to this.

  15. More or less what my mother makes for Xmas but we bast it with burning brandy and eat it with cream ,custard and ice-cream along with fresh cherries. In Oz the seasons are reversed

  16. 1) What is Sac(k)?
    2) Do you only put them in Cold Water If you are going to eat it that day OR fo You Put In Cold Water Regardless When You Consume Them?

  17. If I was born back then, I would not eat pudding…I absolutely hate raisins, certain types of dried fruit and currents.

  18. This plum pudding is very similar to old Scottish and Irish cooking, instead of it being called plum pudding, they'd instead call it white pudding which would be your sweet savoury thing you'd have with your meal. White pudding is made with oatmeal, made in similar fashion as black pudding but without blood being put into it. White Pudding of course does go by many names such as Marag Gheal as the Gaelic speaking Scots would say. Oatmeal Pudding, Hogs Pudding, this predates 17th century cooking going as far back as 15th century cooking recipes, it's one thing that has still survived into modern Scottish and Irish cuisines. There are various recipes of the white pudding to be had, you can have ones that have meat in them, or without meat in them. I would suggest looking up Wooley's 1670 book The Queen-Like Closet, and mid-18th Century book by Elizabeth Raffald's white pudding recipe.

  19. I wonder if the "Hunter" part comes from the old UK; mainly Scottish tradition of hiding grease-proof paper wrapped "sixpence/tanner" or little metal charms in the raw pudding batter, usually wishes were made as everyone took a turn stirring the mix. The finder/"hunter" of the coin/charm was said to look forward to good luck and wealth in the coming year.
    As stated by some others we generally call the pudding a "Clootie Dumpling" (clootie being the boil cloth). Great hot, though often eaten cold spread with butter and a slice of strong cheddar on top. Even nicer is at breakfast slices of dumpling are fried in the bacon fat! Heaven.

  20. .Der Jas. I love your content and often try your recipes with my young childern.
    Please don't eat from a knife as thats something i would yell at them for if they did the same ^^

    Thank you!

  21. This was the first thing I made because of your channel and I love Raisins. It came out so good. ate it all in 3 days lol.

  22. Two things I have often wondered: How does the suet enhance or detract from the overall finished product of the pudding. Second, do you have any idea as to why previously and even up to the present day 'pudding' from England Vs. 'pudding' from the U.S. have two totally different and very distinct consistencies? The English version as we know is a solid. While the American version of a pudding is a semi-liquid, creamy consistency. Do you Mr. Townsend or any fellow viewers have any insight as to why there is such a difference and why one form of pudding remained the same while the other country's version evolved?
    Alternatively, would we (in America) consider this 18th century pudding the equivalent of a so-called fruit cake or Italian pannetone 'cake' as both contain fruit?

  23. This video sure brings back memories. My grandmother, who grew up in Scotland in the 1880's, used to make plumb pudding for Christmas every year. When she got to old my mother took over for a while, but finally she decided it was too much, especially after a heavy Christmas feast. I think her recipe was a little different (I don't think it involved brandy, for instance) but the result looked, and probably tasted, much the same.

  24. That is exactly how my mum and grandmother makes xmas pudding then add brandy sauce and ice cream….. any dried fruit can be used, good way to use up you leftover dried fruits…

  25. Please – there are a LOT of people these days who have Celiac disease (a very dangerous allergy to gluten – all gluten) –
    SO, when you add wheat flour to your suet, you are making it impossible for a many people to enjoy. Please keep that in mind if you are considering improving your suet product. Thank you.

  26. How well do they do with freezing? With summer humidity I'm concerned that just keeping it in the sack for 6 months would allow mold to develop

  27. what is sack im not talking about a bag here. i know what physical sack is but I've never heard of the food sack what is it.

  28. Regarding the addition of brandy, I make a similar pudding every year in October for Christmas gifts. I keep them wrapped in cheesecloth and baste them regularly with a good quality rum. I keep a few back each year and currently, I have two left from 2015 and they are as moist and delicious as ever, and get better with age. I love this site and get so many great ideas from it.

  29. My husbands nana has a Christmas pudín recipe that's been passed for so many generations and it is so similar. The only difference is that her recipe doesn't have eggs and they can keep it dry for up to a year. That is one of the reasons why my family looks forward for our Christmas lunch, and I normally get one to take home I get to eat it in July. What a wonderful channel!

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