Busy Morning Pudding

Busy Morning Pudding fresh from the oven.
Busy Morning Pudding fresh from the oven.

Now here is a charming, simple, and quick-to-make dessert for a sweet-toothed family. Helen Bartlett in Newburgh sent this one to me–oh, dear, was it three years ago already?—in 2011. I hardly ever throw away any letters or recipes that you all send me, and every once in a while I pick through them to see what appeals. Helen’s offering jumped out the last time I went through my collection.

Helen Bartlett's kind and welcome letter and recipe for the pudding.

Helen Bartlett’s kind and welcome letter and recipe for the pudding.

In February of 2011, I offered you all Denver Chocolate Pudding, about which Helen wrote, “It reminded me of the pudding I used to make for my husband. He loved it.”

Those puddings belong to the family of concoctions consisting of a stiff batter in a baking dish, with a liquid floating on top that, when baked, turn into cake with its own sauce. At first, one might think that the recipe is mistaken and that all you will end up with is a mess, but they do a magical thing in the oven, separate, the cake part floats up, and the sauce part bubbles around underneath it. It takes relatively little effort to assemble, and a serviceable dessert results in under an hour.

The stiff batter ready for the baking dish.

The stiff batter ready for the baking dish.

Pudding with water and brown sugar added looks a little messy before you bake it.

Pudding with water and brown sugar added looks a little messy before you bake it.

Another really good thing about this recipe: it calls for ingredients normal people have in their pantries: flour, sugar, butter, raisins, brown sugar, milk. If you are the type that keeps dried cranberries around, I bet those would work nicely, too.

Personally I found it very sweet, and next time I make it I will knock the sugar back about a quarter of a cup, but if you have a sweet tooth, then you will love this just as it is.

P.S. Do you remember the pumpkin (or squash) gratin we shared a couple of weeks ago? Well, Kay Grover from Sedgewick wrote me to say that she thought the casserole was delicious. She said, “Since I live alone, there was a lot left over. I froze the remains in serving-size portions. Thawed and mixed with broth, each one made a good bowl of soup for a quick lunch.” A girl after my own heart. I had leftovers of that casserole, too, and I dumped in chicken broth (plus some leftover farro and chicken casserole) to make lunch soup for Toby and me. What is it they say about great minds thinking alike?

Busy Morning Pudding

1/3 cup white sugar

1 cup flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

½ cup milk

1 cup raisins or dates

2 cups boiling water

1 tablespoon butter

¾ cup of brown sugar

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a two-quart casserole dish. Whisk the dry ingredients together and add the milk, and raisins. Spread this mixture in the bottom of the baking dish. Add the butter to the boiling water and let it melt, then dissolve the brown sugar in the water. Pour the liquid over the top of the batter. Bake for thirty minutes.

Makes six servings.

Sandy Oliver

About Sandy Oliver

Sandy Oliver Sandy is a freelance food writer with the column Taste Buds appearing weekly since 2006 in the Bangor Daily News, and regular columns in Maine Boats, Homes, and Harbors magazine and The Working Waterfront. Besides freelance food writing, she is a pioneering food historian beginning her work in 1971 at Mystic Seaport Museum, where she developed a fireplace cooking program in an 1830s house. After moving to Maine in 1988, Sandy wrote, Saltwater Foodways: New Englanders and Their Foods at Sea and Ashore in the 19th Century published in 1995. She is the author of The Food of Colonial and Federal America published in fall of 2005, and Giving Thanks: Thanksgiving History and Recipes from Pilgrims to Pumpkin Pie which she co-authored with Kathleen Curtin. She often speaks to historical organizations and food professional groups around the country, organizes historical dinners, and conducts classes and workshops in food history and in sustainable gardening and cooking. Sandy lives on Islesboro, an island in Penobscot where she gardens, preserves, cooks and teaches sustainable lifeways.