This classic dessert from the pages of the Rosie’s Riveting Recipes historic cookbook is one that many of your grandmothers may have made. I tried it, and it’s delicious. One thing I really like about many of these historic dessert recipes is that they’re sweet, but not sugar-laden.
REFRIGERATOR BREAD PUDDING
1 envelope plain gelatin
2 cups milk
1/2 cup light or dark corn syrup or 1/3 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 slices white bread (2 1/2 cups cubed)
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
nutmeg, if desired
Soften gelatin in 1/4 cup cold milk. Scald remaining milk with corn syrup (or sugar) and salt in double boiler. Add gelatin and stir until dissolved. Remove crusts and cut slices of bread into cubes. Pour hot milk slowly over beaten eggs, stirring constantly. Return to double boiler. Add bread cubes and cook until custard consistency, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Add vanilla and beat with rotary beater until frothy. Turn into one large (or individual molds) that have been rinsed in cold water first. Chill. When firm, un-mold and serve with cream or any sauce. Sprinkle with nutmeg.
Modern adaptation: Be careful not boil the milk. The beaten eggs can be slowly added to the milk mixture in the double boiler, stirring constantly as directed in the original recipe, until they are well blended. To give the pudding a bolder flavor add 1/4 teaspoon ginger, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, and 1/4 nutmeg with the vanilla. The pudding can also be poured into ramekins and served with whipped cream, cinnamon, or nutmeg on top, as suggested in the original historic recipe.
My former spouse used to bring home rice pudding from the refrigerated section at the supermarket. He said it reminded him of his grandmother’s rice pudding. I’d never had rice pudding before, and it reminded me of my grandmother’s homemade tapioca pudding. Funny how certain foods bring back happy childhood memories.
Fast forward a few years. I’m testing some of the recipes for the Rosie’s Riveting Recipes historic cookbook, and while this recipe was easy to prepare and uses ingredients found in most pantries, it had a very different texture from the premade supermarket rice pudding, creating a delicious yet totally different experience. Puddings have variations, and it’s nice to try something different.
OLD-TIME RICE CUSTARD PUDDING
2 cups cooked rice
1/2 cup seedless raisins
2 cups scalded milk*
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
Mix rice and raisins. Place in 8-inch baking pan, 3 inches deep. Blend milk into beaten eggs, sugar, salt and vanilla. Pour over rice and raisin mixture. Sprinkle with nutmeg. Place pan in shallow pan of water. Steam bake 1 1/2 hours in moderate oven (325F). Serve warm or chilled, with or without cream.
I was in Toastmasters for a number of years. It’s a wonderful organization, and you learn all kinds of interesting things listening to other member’s speeches. One night someone did a recipe demonstration for an easy to prepare pie that tasted like a million bucks, which was why it was called, Million Dollar Pie. Or so he said. Now mind you, I’ve never actually tasted cash, but it certainly is a delicious pineapple cream pie that only takes a few minutes to prepare.
MILLION DOLLAR PIE
1 premade graham cracker pie crust
1 8 oz can crushed pineapple
1 package vanilla flavored instant pudding mix
1 12 oz can condensed milk
1 8 oz container whipped topping
Whisk together canned pineapple, canned milk and instant pudding mix in a large mixing bowl for about one minute. Fold in the entire container of whipped topping mix. Once mixture is thoroughly blended pour into pie crust and gently smooth until it is evenly spread. Chill several hours. Serve.