Quick and easy, pudding tops my list for dessert on hurried nights or a simple lunchbox treat—even our oldest loves to make pudding. Our American puddings are a wonderful thing if the layer cake you were turning out of the pan to cool slipped out of your grasp and broke on the cooling rack. Trifles are wonderful things often made using pudding.
To get onto this list of cookbooks, a cookbook had to have a minimum of five pudding recipes (some have far more). I’ve divided the sections into American pudding cookbooks and non-American pudding cookbooks. Those in the “American” section measure by volume (using cups), while the other books use Metric or Imperial systems that make it slightly more complicated, though not impossible. Just, you know, math.
Of course, those of us in the US tend to consider puddings as cool and creamy, while the UK has a different idea about such things, often calling any dessert a “pudding,” even though they have a kind of pudding too. If you’ve wanted to get into British baking, now’s your chance. Hop to!
American Pudding Cookbooks
Better Homes and Gardens Dessert Cook Book (1960) by Better Homes and Gardens (Amazon) (eBay)
Who loves vintage cookbooks? I do! I do! The font, the images, and the recipes are delightful. The red treat-filled cover alone is an attention-grabber. Let’s flip over that cover and see what’s inside, shall we?
Chapters include: Fruit Desserts; Cakes; Frostings, Fillings, and Sauces; Pastry and Pies; Puddings; Cookies and Candies; Easy 1-2-3 Desserts; Dessert Spectaculars; and Do-Ahead Desserts. The page listing out the chapters and the page across from it, are also bearers of amazing food photography (see above). It looks festive and fun.
Unlike later BH&G cookbooks, this 8 x 1/2 x 11-inch book offers up a bounty of homemade desserts, more than 400 recipes. In the case of puddings, well, there’s an entire chapter here, as you may have noticed above. Our oldest son (age 16) made the chocolate pudding in this book three days ago (and it was excellent). Better Homes include a recipe for vanilla pudding using the chocolate pudding recipe base. Then there’s Caramel Pudding, Upside-Down Date Pudding, Tapioca Cream, and Brownie Pudding. From stove top to baked and steamed, plus a selection of puddings perfect for a party, there aren’t enough adjectives to describe how much I love this chapter and the rest of this fab book.
Capitol Hill Cooks: Recipes from the White House, Congress, and All of the Past Presidents (2010) by Linda Bauer (Amazon) (eBay)
This is a super cool book with a far different type of recipe contributor than the usual. Eat like a president, VP, or a member of congress with personal family recipes from George Washington to Barak Obama.
Tyler Pudding (John Tyler, 1841-1845), Rice Pudding with Lemon Sauce (Ulysses S. Grant, 1869-1877), Nancy Reagan’s Persimmon Pudding (Ronald Reagan, 1981-1989), Bess Truman’s Ozark Pudding (Harry S. Truman, 1945-1953), and Abigail Adam’s Beggar’s Pudding with Sack Sauce (John Adams, 1797-1801) give pudding some love. Little personal notes with some of the recipes are so great, but I sure do wish there were more of them.
Did you know that George Washington and his wife entertained so often, that they only ate dinner alone TWO TIMES during the last 20 years of their marriage? Friends and regular people wanted to meet him, so he let them in—even allowing folks to stay the night. How neat is that? The recipes are, for the most part, things I’d actually want to make. There are three indexes: Recipe, Politician, or State; so you can look for your faves in a snap. At 384 pages, the 7.46 x 1.36 x 10.38-inch cookbook is a chunker.
Complete Baking: Cakes, Puddings, and Pastries (2000) by Dempsey Parr (Paragon Books) (Amazon) (eBay)
This cookbook has a nice mix of recipes over 384 pages. As you’ll see in a moment, the book includes traditional English puddings plus a host of other dessert recipes. Some recipes include a “Cook’s Tip,” which could be a recipe for an accompaniment, how to do something (like crack a coconut), or an explanation about an ingredient. You’ll find occasional variations on the recipe page too.
Chapters include: Cakes and Gateau, Small Cakes and Cookies, Puddings and Desserts, Breads and Savories, and Candies and Drinks. Linger over Blackberry Pudding, Queen of Puddings, Eve’s Pudding, Chocolate Fudge Pudding, and Saucy Chocolate Pudding. I know I normally list five recipes per book, but Sticky Chocolate Pudding is in there too. Sounds good.
Pictures accompany each and every recipe. One side of the page contains the recipe, while the other side of the page holds the image. Every single recipe in this book includes three step-by-step photos at the bottom of the recipe page to illustrate how to do something. Case in point? The recipe for White Chocolate Ice Cream in Chocolate Cookie Cups includes three images to show how to make the cookie cups (and makes me really, really want to try this one). The Frosted White Chocolate Terrine and the Chocolate Zabaglione is high on my “need to make” list too.
Cooking for Company (1968) by Farm Journal (Amazon) (eBay)
Neighbor Donna, this one’s for you. She was such a fan of the Farm Journal cookbooks. While I don’t know if she owned this 431-page, 5 1/2 x 1 1/2 x 8 1/2-inch copy, I do—and it’s awesome. As the cover text reads: “More than 900 extra-delicious recipes and menus plus “Hostess How to” — ideas for entertaining, party favors, food garnishes, serving a crowd.” If that doesn’t sell you on this book, I don’t know what will.
Oh, yes, I do. How about these chapters? Chapters include: How To Make Food Taste Wonderful, Hearty Main Dishes; Vegetables Country— Style; Colorful Salads and Salad Dressings; Homemade Country Breads; Country—Best Cakes. Cookies, and Pies; Great Country Desserts; Beverages, Snacks, and Appetizers; Cooking for a Crowd; and Cooking over Coals. Flaming Plum Pudding with Caramel Sauce, Sweet Potato Pudding (which sounds amazing), Hoosier Persimmon Pudding, Prune Pudding (they deem it “rich and elegant”), and Glorified Bread Pudding.
Sexism runs rampart in this book and the recipes do vary in mileage. While I am swooning over non-pudding recipes like 24-Hour Chocolate Dessert, Caramel Twists, and Orange Pinwheels, recipes like Jellied Egg Salad, and pretty much every molded salad, aren’t my thing. Even so, it’s a fantabulous read with a mix of excellent and out-there recipes.
Decadent Desserts: Favorite Recipes Made Easy for Today’s Lifestyles (2001) by Anne Egan (Amazon) (eBay)
Yes, you do need another dessert cookbook. At 8 x 0.5 x 8 inches and 128 pages, it won’t even take up too much space. But, wow, does this one include a nice selection of mostly homemade desserts. Each recipe includes nutritional info, but…it’s dessert. Just enjoy it for heaven’s sake.
Chapters include: Blue-Ribbon Cakes; Memorable Pies and Tarts; Super-Simple Puddings, Custards, and Fools; and Irresistible Cannolis, Crepes, and Other Confections. There is a conversion chart included.
French Vanilla Pudding, Lemon-Scented Bread Pudding, Sweet Noodle Pudding, Chocolate Bread Pudding, and Hearty Rice Pudding. Buy this book for the pudding recipes, then use it because it’s all that and so much more: Simple Cardamom-Orange Cake, Coconut Cream Bundt Cake, and Orange Poppy Seed Cake call my name. You can’t go wrong with this fab cookbook.
Depression Era Recipes (1990) by Patricia R. Wagner (Amazon) (eBay)
Recipes in this 6.5 x 0.75 x 9.25-inch, 176-page book were sourced by combing through the handwritten recipe books of family and friends from the day. About the only “hard to find” ingredients I see use dandelions (for the dandelion wine, of course) and lard. Sub in with your preferred fat (and you can farm my yard for the dandelions no problem).
Chapters include: Breakfasts; Beverages; Soups; Meats; Poultry and Fish; Vegetables; Salads and Salad Dressings; Breads and Biscuits; Pies, Cakes, and Pastries; Cookies, Desserts, and Puddings; Miscellaneous Recipes; and Household Hints and Measurements. Check out Apple Pudding, Rhubarb Pudding, American Cornstarch Pudding, Caramel Cream Pudding, Steamed Graham Pudding, plus a few more.
Do note that this book doesn’t go into detail about recipe preparation. The recipe for Turkey Soup says to “Cook rice in salted water,” but it doesn’t provide further instructions as to the cooking of the rice. Back then, it was assumed you knew how to perform basic kitchen duties, and the recipes in this book take the same stance. In other words, if you are a super beginner, this one might not be your cup of tea.
Essential Pepin: More than 700 All-Time Favorites From My Life in Food (2011) by Jacques Pépin (Amazon) (eBay)
Summaries above each recipe share important pointers for pudding success. The 7.94 x 1.88 x 10-inch cookbook is jam-packed with recipes, 685 pages worth of them. It is all recipes. There aren’t any images because, holy cow, that would make this big book even bigger. Occasional illustrations pep up a page.
Chapters include: Soups; Salads; Eggs and Cheese; Pasta, Rice, Grains, and Potatoes; Breads, Sandwiches, and Pizzas; Shellfish and Fish; Poultry and Game; Meat; Charcuterie and Offal; Vegetables and Side Dishes; Fruit Desserts; Puddings, Sweet Soufflés, and Crepes; Cakes, Cookies, and Candies; Tarts, Pies, and Pastries; Frozen Desserts; and Basics.
Jacques shares his recipes for Bread-and-Butter Pudding, Banana Bread Pudding, Cherry Bread Pudding, and Strawberry Summer Pudding, Semolina-Cream Pudding with Apricot Sauce, and Old-Fashioned Rice Pudding with Dried Fruit. He even has a recipe for a pudding, pudding: Chocolate Pudding with Almond Topping. It’s a glorious cookbook that I think you’ll find incredibly useful at any stage in your baking game.
The Family Baker: 150 Never-Let-You-Down Basic Recipes (1999) by Susan Gold Purdy (Amazon) (eBay)
I love the introduction to this book, too. Expect reliable recipes made for good home cooking and baking. Illustrations punch up the 248 pages in the 8.25 x 1 x 10.5-inch cookbook. Chapters include: Biscuits, Muffins, and Scones; Quick Breads, Puddings and Bread Puddings; Cookies, Pies, Pizzas, and Tarts; Coffee Cakes, Cobblers, and Crisps; Cakes, Kids in the Kitchen: Ice cream, Candy, and Treats; Easy Decorating Ideas; About Bake Sales; and then a series of chapters pertaining to substitutions, pan volumes, serving charts, ingredients, and equipment.
Shuffle through the book for pudding recipes like Fluffy Tapioca Pudding, Creamy Stovetop Rice Pudding, Persimmon Pudding, and Old Fashioned Chocolate Pudding. Then there are bread pudding recipes like Pennsylvania Dutch Baked Apple Pudding with Warm Nutmeg Cream, Chocolate Bread Pudding with White Chocolate Cream, and Grandma’s Apple Raisin Bread Pudding with Warm Maple Sauce. Doesn’t that sound cozy?
Susan’s books are always well-planned and easy to follow. Her “For Good Measure” callouts keep newer bakers on track, while the variations included leave every recipe feeling fresh. I enjoy the way Susan lists any special equipment needed, advanced preparation you can do, bake time and temp, and the yield before each recipe. Brilliant!
Forgotten Recipes: From the Magazines You Loved and the Days You Remember (1981) by Jaine Rodack (Amazon) (eBay)
My mom gifted me this one in a care package last year. It’s a fun book to flip through. My only beef with it, is that the author references old magazine and newspaper clippings to compile the recipes, but then doesn’t share the source. I want to know where they are from!
Chapters include: Yesterday’s Kitchen; Household Hints; Breakfast; Breads; Soups; Timbales and Chou Shells; Salads; Rice, Potatoes, Casseroles, and Vegetables; Cheesy Concoctions; Fish and Chicken; Meats; Beverages; Desserts: Cakes, Pies and Tarts, Cookies, Puddings, and Miscellaneous Desserts; Confections; and Sauces. Pudding recipes include Cold Chocolate-Crumb Pudding, Buttermilk Crumb Pudding, Sweet Potato Pudding, Apple Rice Pudding, and three different recipes for Indian Pudding. Plus others.
Most recipes have a summary above, sharing a personal story, tip, or other tidbit. Sparsely illustrated, the magic lies in the years that accompany the recipes. That’s the fun part. You can see what people were making in a given year. A page at the back shares these recipes with their years in chronological order. Then there are household hints here and there. At 190 pages, this could prove a neat jaunt back in time in a 7.25 x 1 x 9.5-inch book.
James McNair’s Custards, Mousses, and Puddings (1992) by James McNair (Amazon) (eBay)
I love James McNair. I’m sure I’ve raved about his cookbooks before (I also have both Pasta and Favorites, and use Favorites often). This is a short ‘n sweet 96-page, single-subject cookbook. James’ images accompany each recipe (except for the list of variations, of course). His sauces section at the back of the book is not to be missed.
Chapters include: Custards, Mousses, Puddings, and Finishing Touches. Pudding recipes include Mawmaw Mackie’s Banana Pudding (based on his memories of his Louisiana grandma’s recipe that she never wrote down), Steamed Cherry Pudding, Chocolate-Caramel Bread Pudding, Butterscotch Custard Pudding, Citrus Custard Pudding, and Pineapple Pudding. Okay, that’s more than five, but you get there idea that there are plenty (and a variety).
You wanna know what I think is so awesome? James includes a list of pudding recipes found in his other books (it’s located after the index in a sidebar). James McNair’s Rice Cookbook comes in second with six pudding recipes, FYI. If you want a single subject cookbook from a trusted cook, I always vote for James McNair.
New England Home Cooking: 350 Recipes from Town and Country, Land and Sea, Hearth, and Home (2011) by Brooke Dojny (Amazon) (eBay)
Sweet and savory puddings make their appearance in this 7.25 x 1.75 x 9.25-inch cookbook devoted to regional recipes. As the sub-heading shares, there are over 350 recipes and illustrations over 672 pages. Recipes include a little history, personal stories, regional tidbits, helpful callouts, or tips (which I love).
Chapters include: Starters, Classic, and Contemporary; The Chowder, Soup, and Stew Pot; Salads, Side and Main; A Harvest of Vegetables; Baked Beans and Other “Made” Dishes; Pasta and Rice, Side and Main; Sandwiches and Pizzas; Savory Meats; Chicken and Other Birds, Finfish; Shellfish; Sweet Morning Breads; Savory Breads; Pickles , Preserves, Relishes, and Chutneys; Cobblers, Shortcakes, Puddings, and Other Desserts; Cakes and Cookies; and Pies and Tarts. Whew!
You’ll find Chocolate Bread and Butter Pudding, Pioneer Valley Blueberry Bread and Butter Pudding, Finest Kind Grapenut Pudding, A Delicate Indian Pudding, and then some. It’s a hefty book of recipes you won’t be able to put down. Cookbook readers: You need this one.
Puddin’: Luscious and Unforgettable Puddings, Parfaits, Pudding Cakes, Pies, and Pops (2013) by Clio Goodman with Adeena Sussman (Amazon) (eBay)
Delve into the 137 pages in this 7.27 x 0.67 x 8.32-inch book sharing everything pudding, and it may be awhile before you come up for air. Chef Clio trained at the Culinary Institute of America, served as a private chef, and owned a New York shop of the same name in what looks to be 2012-2014 (after piecing together start and stop dates of old reviews). Images, yes. With every recipe? No.
Chapters include: The Classics, New Favorites, Toppings (with Subheadings: Cookies and Cake Toppings; Sauces, Compotes, and Toppings; and Candies and Crunchies); Pudding Parfaits, Pudding Cakes and Pies; and Pudding Pops. Oh my! It’s not always easy to decide what recipe titles to share with you, so you get a feel for a book, but in this case…it’s impossible (funny thing, I just wrote “cake” instead of “case” so you know where my mind is always). Of course there are the usual basic pudding recipes.
But, I should tell you about the not-so-usual recipes like Dulce de Leche Pudding, Eggnog Pudding, Pumpkin Pie Pudding, and Boston Cream Pudding. Shut the front door. Add in the stuff that uses pudding, like Bald Man’s Banana Cream Dream Parfait, Caramel Macchiato Parfait (which rated super high with her former business’s patrons), Birthday Cake Parfait, AND PUDDING POPS (squee!). Clio and I would totally be BFF’s. If you have been dying for good ol’ American-style pudding: This is for you. And me! And you over there. Yep, and you too.
Puddings, Custards, and Flans: 43 Easy Recipes from Old Favorites to New Creations (1990) by Linda Zimmerman (Amazon) (eBay)
I would have bought this cookbook even if it sucked, because it has the best cover. I admit it. Isn’t it wonderful? Inside, well, this little book offers up 43 recipes over 116 pages. Small or not, it offers up an impressive variety of pudding.
Chapters include: Baked Puddings, Steamed Puddings, Stove-Top Puddings, Savory Puddings, Custards and Flans, and Toppings and Sauces. No images here, but there are many illustrations throughout that add to the attractiveness of this sweet cookbook. If you are familiar with the work of Elizabeth Arlston, the illustrations have that same kind of feel.
You will need a cookbook holder to prop this cookbook open. It’s small size makes it adorable, yet impossible to use on its own. Then you can bake Black and White Marble Pudding, Angel Food Summer Food (which uses an Angel Food Cake in place white bread), Rote Grütze Rødgrød Med Fløde (Northern Germany and Denmark favorite Red Grits Pudding), Yankee Banana-Gingersnap Pudding, Tex-Mex Polenta Mini-Puddings, and Herbed Onion Bread Pudding.
Seasonal Fruit Desserts: From Orchard, Farm, and Market (2010) by Deborah Madison (Amazon) (eBay)
Deborah Madison is a vegetarian cookbook superstar. Here she turns her attention to fruit-based desserts in a 7.75 x 0.89 x 9.74-inch book with 278 pages. Most recipes have images, but they may not be of the finished product (kettle on a stove, that kind of thing). If you read cookbooks, this will be particularly pleasing to you as Deborah includes chatty commentary with the recipes, but also a page or two about different fruits. I like her style.
Chapters include: A Few Basics; Fresh Fruit; Fresh Fruit in Syrup; Roasted and Sautéed Fruit; Classics You Can Count On; Country Pies and Tarts; Dried Fruits, Nuts, and Preserves; Puddings and Gelées (a chapter she writes is composed of “soft, soothing” desserts); Cheese and Dairy Desserts; Five Cakes to Go with Fruit; Sauces Made from Fruit.
A Not-Quite-So-Sticky-Pudding, Quinoa Pudding with Dried Cherries and Cranberries, Native Wild Rice Pudding with Maple Syrup and Wine-Soaked Cherries, Sweet Potato-Coconut Pudding with Toasted Coconut, Dark Chocolate Pudding, and Tangelo-Tangerine Pudding. Plus more. Non-pudding recipes vie for my attention, with Hazelnut-Chocolate Chunk Cookies, Olive Oil Orange Chiffon Cake, and Yeasted Sugar Cake raising their little dessert hands, begging “Pick me! Pick me!”
The Seasonal Hearth: The Woman at Home in Early America (1977) by Adelaide Hechtlinger (Amazon) (eBay)
This isn’t your typical cookbook. Divided by seasons, this book features recipes and illustrations from vintage cookbooks, pamphlets, almanacs, letters, and magazines. It is what American women were making from 1607 to 1910, with history and lore related to the period in whatever area in a time when women had zero leisure time.
Chapters include: Winter, Spring, Summer, and Autumn. Adelaide then lists every article within the season, so you can fast flip from Winter: Kitchen Furniture 1800 to Summer: A Frontier Wedding or Autumn: Dinner at Mount Vernon. It’s a valuable resource and a cookbook of sorts all in one.
Try your hand at old time recipes like Hasty Pudding, A Cheap and Quick Pudding, Plum Pudding, Rum Pudding, Duke of Cumberland’s Pudding, and Corn Pudding. It’s a remarkable book that should be on the “must read” list, and perhaps the “must cook the book” list for anyone interested in early US food history and old-fashioned favorite recipes.
Sticky, Chewy, Messy, Gooey: Desserts for the Serious Sweet Tooth (2007) by Jill O’Connor (Amazon) (eBay)
Who can resist a title like that? Obviously, I can’t. Banana Bread Pudding with Hot Fudge and Toasted Walnut; Christmas Pudding with Brandied Hard Sauce; Cinnamon-Donut Bread Pudding; Deep, Dark Chocolate Pudding; and Rich Risotto Rice Pudding vie for your next dessert. You’ll find some images in the 168-page cookbook.
Chapters include: Sticky, Chewy Chocolate; The Pudding Club; Cookies, Cakes, and Pies: Oh My!; and Do Try This at Home!: Over-the-Top Treats for the Kid in All of Us. A too-small font shares the name and page number of each recipe. Small text abounds, unfortunately.
If you can get past that (and I do hope you can), it’s a whimsical book in a scrapbook kind of style. Polka dot borders, page numbers highlighted with a fancy-edged half circle, and colorful call-outs create a fun book, just what you’d expect in a dessert-focused cookbook. Non-pudding recipes include Crispy Oatmeal Florentines with Peanut Butter-Caramel Filling, Quicky Sticky Buns (yes, scratch-made), and Big Blondes (Ha!).
Sweet Success: A Cookbook for Dessert Lovers (1978) by Wendy Martin (Amazon) (eBay)
What is it about those old cookbooks? Although this isn’t the oldest cookbook you’ve ever seen, I love the way the recipe heading fonts get rather groovy. You’ll see what I mean. Also, the kid on the front reminds me of a young, slim Chunk from The Goonies. I think it’s the hair and the shirt. Do you see it? What a great cover!
Chapters include: Sweets and Things, Cakes and Cookies, Preserves, and Puddings. I like how the recipes are listed underneath each chapter. It’s kind of handy to flip it open, see what you see, and get to where you need to go. Ingredient amounts are in American cups and metric, so choose your fave.
Now for the good stuff. Spotted Richard, Lemon Surprise Pudding, Toffee Apple Pudding, Sussex Pond Pudding, and Brown Bread Pudding shout a merry “hello.” So do non-pudding items like Butterscotch Fudge, Russian Caramels, Rum Truffles, and French Nougat. Full-color images go with each and every recipe over not quite 120 pages.
Non-American Pudding Cookbooks
I wanted to write “un-American pudding cookbooks” in the header above, but I figured that not everyone hears Tim Curry in Clue: The Movie’s voice saying, Un-American,” so it probably isn’t as funny as I think it is. Go watch Clue again while your pudding is baking or chilling or doing whatever it’s supposed to be doing.
501 Recipes for Puddings and Dessert (1981) by Norma Macmillan (Amazon) (eBay)
I used the ISBN to link to the book, so you know you’re getting the right thing (even if the page is rather generic). This book is rather unique in that it lists the Imperial and American measurements side-by-side. It also switches out the proper ingredients. For example, if a recipe uses golden syrup on the Imperial side of things, Norma lists “light golden syrup” on the American side of things. It’s a nice touch to help any baker unfamiliar with some of the ingredients find their way. Better yet, it will help you get to know the ingredients so you can make your own swap out in any UK-based cookbook you find in the future.
Chapters include Baked Puddings; Steamed Puddings; Crepes; Soufflés, Hot and Cold; Trifles and Fondues; Hot Fresh Fruit Desserts; Cold Fresh Fruit Desserts; Mousses, Fools, and Creamy Desserts; Jellies, Bavarian Creams, and Moulded Desserts; Ice Creams, Iced Desserts, and Sundaes; An International Selection, What’s in Stock?; Treats for Children, Strictly for Slimmers; Sauces, and Sweetmeats.
An extensive selection made it hard to pick just five. Fudge Pudding, Black Pear Pudding, Steamed Coconut Pudding, Guards’ Pudding, and Coffee Apple Pudding are a very small sample of the pudding recipes in this large cookbook. Desserts like Crispy Chocolate Pie, Orange Bavarian Cream, and Banana Cream Crêpes look good too. Yes, there are 228 pages, however there are an extra four blank pages included for your notes. Use it. Your future self (or family) will thank you.
Brian Turner’s Favourite British Recipes (2003) by Brian Turner (Amazon) (eBay)
Chef Brian Turner may have been trained in French cooking, but he’s English and grew up helping out in his dad’s café. This 7.25 x 0.75 x 9.75-inch, 224-page cookbook shares his favorites.
Chapters include: Soups; Eggs, Cheese, and Savouries; Fish and Shellfish; Meat and Offal; Poultry and Game; Vegetables; Puddings; Bread, Cakes, and Baking; and Preserves. Sauces. and Accompaniments. Cabinet Pudding, Queen of Puddings, Summer Pudding, Sticky Toffee Pudding, and Rice Pudding are a few other dishes composing the chapter on pudding.
Monsieur Mission, a French visitor to England in the 1690s, wrote about the English penchant for puddings. “Ah, what an excellent thing is an English pudding! To come in pudding-time, is as much to say, to come in the most lucky moment in the world,” begins Brian Turner in the Pudding chapter before he dives into a little history. That’s the way he handles each chapter intro, with a bit of history and light humor. No images or illustrations, but plenty of recipes with ample paragraphs accompanying each recipe and the chapter sections. It’s a good read.
Christmas Flavors of Ireland (2013) by Margaret M. Johnson (Amazon) (eBay)
I can’t resist a country-specific cookbook when I find one. Margaret talks about Irish traditions and such, but I do wish it had a more personal take. I want to know why she wrote about Irish Christmas recipes and learn about her own (if she has any). That’s my only gripe. Yes, it is a cookbook sponsored by a slew of brands, however, it isn’t intrusive.
Chapters include: Holiday Parties; Festive Brunch; Starts, Soups, and Salads; The Christmas Feast; Mince Pies and Mulled Wine; and Elegant Endings. I love how each chapter lays out the recipes and page number of the contents inside that chapter. Explore Christmas Pudding, Pear and Gingerbread Pudding, Steamed Cranberry Pudding, Croissant Pudding with Christmas Fruits and Rum Sauce, Panettone Bread and Butter Pudding, and Apple-Date Sticky Toffee Pudding.
Many recipes include images, though not necessarily of the recipe. Irish landscapes, homes, and even castles make an appearance. At 190 pages, it is just big enough to get lost in. After all, it’s more than recipes, with Christmas traditions dotting a page here and there. Plus, ingredient quantities are listed in both cups and metric so you can choose how you want to cook and bake. Christmas cookbook lover or Ireland fan, it’s a wonderful cookbook for your shelf.
Claire Macdonald’s Quick and Easy Desserts and Puddings (1993) by Lady Claire Macdonald (Amazon) (eBay)
When you want a dessert, fast, reach for this 6 x 0.25 x 8.75 inch, 129-page cookbook (with a couple extra pages devoted to ads for other books in the series). This cookbook is part of a larger group of cookbooks, the BBC Books’ Quick and Easy Cookery Series.
Chapters include: Stocking Up, The Store-Cupboard, Kitchen Equipment, Quick Cold Puddings, Quick Hot Puddings, Frozen Puddings, Quick-Puddings for Entertaining, and Sauces. Although the recipes are fast to fix, some require chilling, so do read through a recipe, and plan ahead.
Sort through recipes like Baked Lemon Rice Pudding; Pear and Ginger Pudding; Cream, Yogurt, and Grape Pudding; Autumn Pudding; and Melita’s Lemon Pudding. Eight images give you a little taste of what to expect. Claire married Lord Macdonald, so she has the title of Lady (fancy!), and they ran the Kinloch Lodge on Skye for almost 40 years.
Clarissa’s Comfort Food (2012) by Clarissa Dickson Wright (Amazon) (eBay)
Clarissa grew up in a household with a cook and a well-traveled family (circling the globe three times by the time she hit age 13). You may know her from Two Fat Ladies. While Clarissa was working on her memoir, Spilling the Beans, she realized she wanted to write a cookbook on comfort food. Here it is at 160 pages in 9.13 x 0.71 x 10.31 inches. There’s a 2008 hardback edition, and following the links will take you to your options.
Chapters include: Breakfast; Soups; Starters; Salads; Noodles, Pasta, and Rice; Fish; Meat; Poultry and Game; Vegetables; and Puddings and Baking. Clarissa’s pudding recipes highlight Steamed Syrup Pudding, Marmalade Batter Pudding, Marquis Pudding, Bread and Butter Pudding, and Rice Pudding. It’s also full of recipes for things I’ve never had (and in some cases never heard of), like Parlies, Oldbury Tarts, and Fig Sly Cake. Isn’t that fun?
Images accompany each recipe, but they don’t always feature the finished project. Each recipe has a little blip where Clarissa shares a short summary of how the recipe relates to her or where the recipe came from.
The Cookery Year (1974) by Reader’s Digest (Amazon) (eBay)
You can try to track down Reader’s Digest Starters and Puddings (1976), or you can opt for The Cookery Year for the whole shebang. Starters and Puddings is pulled entirely from text and illustrations in The Cookery Year. There are what appears to be updated versions, 1996 and 2004, but I believe the content differs (including the title, with the word “New” in there).
Chapters include: Buying for Quality (with a breakdown of what is in-season info for a given fruit or veggie), and Months of the Year. Celebrate every season with Berry Lemon Pudding, Delaware Pudding, Viennoise Pudding, Bread Pudding, and Apple and Almond Paradise Pudding.
It’s a 10-inch by 8 1/2-inch cookbook, with over 1000 recipes contributed by a variety of sources, as have the more than 300 illustrations and photographs. It’s the best kind of vintage style.
Desserts: a Fabulous Collection of Recipes from Sweet Baby James (2007) by James Martin (Amazon) (eBay)
Chef and restaurant owner, James Martin, developed this book after filming segments for the BBC’s Sweet Baby James, his 2007 TV show centering around UK desserts. Images accompany many of the recipes.
Chapters include: Basics (recipes for pastry, custard, and so on), Hot Puddings, Cold Puddings, Tarts and Flans, Cakes and Bakes, and Ice Creams and Sorbets. Some recipes in the basics chapter, like Choux Pastry and Victoria Sponge, include step-by-step images too.
Sticky Gingerbread Pudding, Croissant Butter Pudding, Steamed Treacle Sponge Pudding, Fresh Orange Curd Pudding, and Sticky Toffee Pudding with Toffee Sauce provide the pudding assortment. With 192 pages in this 8.31 x 0.71 x 10.47-inch cookbook, you have plenty of other things to try (like Classic Lemon Tart, Mango Sorbet, or Lardy Cake).
English Puddings: Sweet and Savoury (2004) by Mary Norwak (Amazon) (eBay)
If you like your cookbooks with a side of history, well, I’m blown away by this 208-page, 7 x 0.75 x 9.75 inch cookbook. Just blown away. Different editions have different covers (the original was published in 1981). Look to Mary’s Selected Glossary before you begin and her British/American conversion tables to better understand the differences in measurements, because this book will not use American cups in the recipe. But, it’s worth it to figure out. Write in your cookbook when you make the conversions so you don’t have to go through it again.
Chapters include: The Story of Puddings; Jellies, Blancmanges, and Flummeries; Custards, Creams, and Fools; Junkets and Syllabubs; Tipsy Cakes and Trifles; Charlottes; Ices and Iced Puddings; Fruit; Milk Puddings; Pancakes, Fritters, and Fraises; Boiled and Baked Batters; Boiled and Steamed Puddings; Baked Puddings; Dumplings, Pies and Tarts; Sauces, and British/American Conversion Tables.
Queen Mab’s Pudding (love the image here, it looks pretty and good), Rhubarb Basin Pudding, Magdalene Pudding, Mrs. Spurell’s Bishop Pudding, and Gogg’s Lemon Pudding (from an 1865 cookbook) caught my eye (there are many more). Don’t you just love the fun names? Images are few, but it is a cookbook make for cooking, baking, and reading. Interesting intros containing history or background are lengthy above recipes, sometimes running full paragraphs. This cookbook is a wonderful thing.
Good Housekeeping Lovely Puds and Desserts (2014) by Good Housekeeping (Amazon) (eBay)
I love Good Housekeeping cookbooks. This one doesn’t disappoint with 240 pages in an image-filled 7.44 x 0.59 x 9.69-inch book. How image-filled? Images pair up with every recipe and each recipe is given a full page, with the image either fitting on the same page or directly opposite.
Chapters include: Baked and Steamed Puddings; Pies and Tarts; Hot Fruit Puddings and Deserts; Fruit Desserts, Creams, Mousses, and Jellies; Chocolate; Ice Creams and Sorbets; Cheesecakes, Gateaux, Meringues, and Trifles; Dessert Cakes and Strudels; and Basics.
Rice Pudding, Hot Pear and White Chocolate Puddings, Quick Gooey Chocolate Puddings, Saucy Hot Lemon Puddings, Non-pudding, pudding recipes, like the White Chocolate Mousse Cake, Lemon and Berry Crunch Cake, and the Chocolate and Cherry Amaretti Tart keep sidetracking me. It’s hard not to get sidetracked. It IS a GH cookbook on desserts. Get to bakin’ with this comprehensive book (I know I will).
Good Old-Fashioned Puddings (2012) by Sara Paston-Williams (Amazon) (eBay)
As you’ll see below, Sara has another book centered around puddings. The first edition was titled The National Trust Book of Historic Puddings (1983, with new editions in 2002 and 2007). Actually, she has more. Yes, you can opt for Good Old-Fashioned Summertime Puddings, next section below, or Good-Old Fashioned Comfort Puddings; but I’d suggest purchasing this cookbook instead as it appears to have the recipes found in the other two titles (and then some). It is 222 pages long in a 7.5 x 1.2 x 9.5-inch format.
This book has a little more color than Sara’s others, even if there aren’t images with every recipe. It does have full pages with color backgrounds that add a little something something. I really like the way this version looks. Chapters include: Baked Puddings; Creams, Flummeries, Fools, Snows, and Syllabubs; Iced Creams; Fried Puddings; Fruit and Jellies; Milk Puddings, Custards, and Trifles; Pies, Tarts, and Flans; Steamed and Boiled Puddings; and Sauces.
Pour over the pages for recipes like a Kentish Well Pudding, Gingerbread and Pear Upside-Down Pudding, Rich Chocolate and Orange Pudding , The Curate’s Pudding, and Manchester Pudding. Why aren’t we creative with our recipe names like they are in the UK? I say we make that a thing. Who’s with me?
Good Old-Fashioned Summertime Puddings (2010) by Sara Paston-Williams (Amazon) (eBay)
It’s another National Trust cookbook, so you know it’s pretty much a “must have” by this point, right? It means the book holds historic recipes of all kinds, at least all those related to pudding (remember, pudding stands for dessert in general in the UK). The cover alone makes me want to get cookin’! At more than 60 recipes, 96 pages, and tasty-looking images (though not with every recipe), it’s a great 7 x 0.7 x 7-inch cookbook.
I love the quote from Francois Misson that Sara includes, “They bake them in an oven, they boil them 50 several ways: BLESSED BE HE THAT INVENTED PUDDING, for it is a manna that hits the palates of all sorts of people.” Chapters include: Pastry Recipes, Fruit Puddings, Creamy Puddings, Ice Creams; Cold Pies, Tarts, and Flans; and Sauces.
Take a look at Amber Apricot Pudding, Spiced Winter Pudding (what a cozy name), An Excellent Lemon Pudding, Queen Mab’s Pudding, and Caramel Pudding. Rummage through the rest of the book for interestingly named recipes like Scottish pudding Cranachan, Edinburgh Fog, Whim-Wham, and Lemon Posset. I find the names intriguing. It makes me want to cook them all.
Granny’s Puddings: 58 New Zealand Favourites (1996) by Pamela Moffat (Amazon) (eBay)
It’s another little cookbook at 62-pages long, but if you enjoy puddings, single-subjects, and you don’t mind a lack of images—say “hello” to a cute cookbook for your collection. I like the way each page is adorned with repeat illustrations. Recipes include a sentence or two intro, but not quite enough to make it one you can read, read.
Chapters include: Introduction, Hints, The Recipes, and the Index. This book doesn’t waste time, but after a brief intro, gets right to the good stuff. Margaret’s Barbados Christmas Pudding, Steamed Carrot Pudding, Chocolate Nut Fudge Pudding, Honey Pudding, and Tomato Soup Pudding are a small selection of recipes in this book devoted to dessert.
Recipes offer up measurements in cups. Call-outs just below the ingredient list provide important information, when necessary (such in the case of Rumpot). Some recipes use grams while others use cups, which is a little bizarre. Still, it’s a neat cookbook for any pudding fan.
Great British Puddings (1996) by Mary Smith and Debbie Smith (Amazon) (eBay)
The forward reads, “If Brillat-Savarin’s last words really were, “Bring on the dessert, I think I am about to die,” how right he was,” you know you’re onto something good with this cookbook featuring puddings of all kinds. While you’ll find images, they don’t tend to match up with the recipes (a bowl of fruit, a butter churn), but that doesn’t matter when the font and layout are so pleasing to the eye. It’s a pretty 6.75 x 0.75 x 9.75-inch, 192-page book. Fortunately, it’s plenty useful too.
Chapters include: Pies, Pastry, and Crumbles; Tarts; Baked Puddings; Steamed Puddings; Fools, Custards, and Creams; Jellies, Trifles, Junkets, and Pancakes; Ice Creams and Sorbets; Orchard, Field, and Hedgerow; Accompaniments; and Useful Notes. Yes, you’ll find equivalents too, for those of us in the US.
Sort through the numerous pudding recipes like Black Cap Pudding, Carrot and Orange Pudding, A Bachelor’s Pudding, Light Chocolate Pudding, and Chilled Raspberry Pudding (you know how much I love raspberries! Mmm mmm mmm!).
Gregg’s Favorite Puddings (2010) by Gregg Wallace (Amazon) (eBay)
It’s not a very chatty cookbook, with minimal opening intros to accompany the recipes, but at least there are occasional “Gregg’s tips” that include a serving suggestion or other handy note. Most recipes don’t include images, but those that do are well done. I’ve noticed different covers, but the interior is the same. It’s an attractive book.
Chapters include: Fruity Puddings; Tarts, Flans, and Cheesecakes; Chocolate; Classic Puddings; Ices and Mousses; and Basics and Bites. White Chocolate and Pistachio Mousse, Autumn Pudding, Eve Pudding, Chocolate Steamed Puddings, and Chocolate Puddle Puddings give you a nice assortment.
As with the rest of the Brit-based cookbooks, expect metric and imperial measurements. That’s no big thing, right? Right. Do your conversions, write in your cookbook, and you won’t have to deal with such things again. Easy, peasy. It will open up a whole new world of baking options.
Hamlyn 500 Recipes for Puddings and Desserts (1979) by Monica Mawson (Amazon) (eBay)
We’ve seen the “500 Series” published by Hamlyn before. Remember Marguerite Patten? Monica Mawson adds 500 different recipes for assorted puddings to the mix. At 96 pages (including the index), what this cookbook lacks in images it makes up for in recipes.
Chapters include: Hot Puddings; Steamed and Boiled Puddings; Cold Sweets; Pies, Tarts, and Flans; Quick and Easy Desserts; Sweets for Special Occasions; Cheesecakes; Ice Cream, Sorbets, and Chilled Desserts; and Sauces.
Baked Almond Pudding, Chocolate and Walnut Upside-Down Pudding, Lemon Surprise Pudding, Orange Foam Pudding…and the list goes on and on. In “Sweets for Special Occasions. A recipe for “Satan’s Delight” snagged my attention. Chocolate and cherries. Who knew?
Heavenly Chocolate Desserts: Tarts, Mousses, Brownies, and More (2008) by (Amazon) (eBay)
I know there are only 80 recipes in the 7.5 x 0.5 x 9.25-inch, 160-page cookbook—however, it’s such a good one, it’s basically an “add me to your cookbook list NOW!” kind of book. It’s a cookbook full of recipes sourced from food writers and authors like Linda Collister, Maxine Clark, Susannah Blake, Louise Pickford, Elsa Petersen-Schepelern, and more.
You won’t find basic bon-bons or truffles here. You won’t miss it, not when there are such interesting concoctions, like Chocolate Galette, a “pancake-cake layered with sweet chocolate and custard and baked in the oven,” Spiced White Chocolate Puffs, made using thawed puff pastry, and company kind of fancy Strawberry Chocolate Tartlets. Chapters include: Hot Puddings, Chilled Desserts, Tarts and Cheesecakes, Cakes and Bakes, and On the Side. Pain au Chocolat Pudding; Brownie Lava Pudding; Upside-Down Fruit Pudding; Chocolate, Orange; and Date-Steamed Pudding; and White and Black Puddings.
Images go with each recipe. It’s not a sit down and read sort of cookbook as there are only short 2-3 sentence paragraphs above each item, but I like the assortment here. Since it’s in the “Non-American” section here, you know you’ll need to set aside your “cup” style of measurement and make sub-ins for things like caster sugar, golden syrup, and cornflour.
Margaret Powell’s Cookery Book: 500 Upstairs Recipes from Everyone’s Favorite Downstairs Kitchen Maid and Cook (2013) by Margaret Powell (Amazon) (eBay)
Long before Downton Abbey, Margaret Powell (1907-1984) wrote about her life in her memoir: Below Stairs. Margaret left school at 13 to work, working her way into the kitchen by the time she was 15, eventually becoming a cook. The family demanded three large meals a day, so that is all Margaret did. These are her recipes.
Originally published in 1970, this is the 2012 edition. It retains the British Imperial standards of the original, but you can use the conversion table inside or online to guide you along. The 5.5 x 0.79 x 8.5-inch cookbook has 332 pages of recipes. No images, and you should know the recipes are written in paragraph form.
Chapters include: Hors d’oeuvre; Soups; Fish; Entrees; Poultry and Game; Roasts and Meat Dishes; Forcemeats and Stuffings; Vegetables; Sauces and Garnishes; Puddings; Pastry; Savouries; Bread, Scones, and Cakes; Egg Dishes; Preserves. Bottling, and Cordials; and Pickles. Pick among recipes like Canary Pudding, Empress Pudding, Exeter Pudding, Lemon or Orange Pudding, and Tapioca Pudding (to name a few). Her intro is fantastic as is this cookbook.
Marguerite Patten’s 1000 Favourite Recipes (1986) by Marguerite Patten (Amazon) (eBay)
How could I share great pudding cookbooks and not share one authored by Marguerite Patten? While you will find many pudding recipes in her many books (you can view Marguerite Patten’s cookbooks here), if you are going to get one, make it this one with 1000 of her favorite recipes.
Chapters include: Hors d’Oeuvres and Starters. Beautiful Soups, Fish Dishes, Meat Dishes, Poultry Dishes, Stuffings and Sauces, Vegetables and Salads, Egg and Cheese Dishes, Snacks and Savouries, Puddings and Desserts, Good Baking, Cooking with Yeast, Preserves, A to Z of Cookery Terms, and Turn Disaster into Success.
Recipes like Golden Cap Pudding, Mocha Pudding, Apricot Pudding, Bread and Butter Pudding, and Toffee Apple Pudding all feature Marguerite’s precise instructions and the occasional variation. Her “Puddings and Desserts” chapter is over 40 pages long. Have a ton of fun in the kitchen with Marguerite’s trusted recipes. I linked to the 1986 edition above because I like the vintage vibes, but there was a new edition released in 2006, with a different cover, but the same interior. Your call.
Mary Berry Cooks (2014) by Mary Berry (Amazon) (eBay)
Meant to accompany the TV series Mary Berry Cooks in 2014, this cookbook has all the TV-show recipes in a tidy, hardcover format. Although nice images are found throughout, they don’t accompany every single recipe in the 320-page, 7.7 x 1.3 x 10-inch cookbook. The clear directions will see you through.
Chapters include: Quick Bites and Canapés; Sharing Plates and Starters; Family Favourites; Spectacular Suppers; A Classic Roast; Vegetables, Salads, and Sides; Cold Desserts; Hot Puddings; and Afternoon Tea. You’ll discover pudding recipes like Summer Pudding Loaf, Sussex Pond Pudding with Apples, Queen of Puddings, Classic Rice Pudding, and Saucy Brown Pud.
Many recipes include a “Mary’s Wise Words” callout. This could be a tip on how to cook an item, more information about an ingredient, or a serving suggestion. Whatever the tidbit, it’s one more nice feature in a book filled with handy advice and delicious recipes.
The National Trust Book of Puddings: 50 Irresistibly Nostalgic Sweet Treats and Comforting Classics (2020) by Regula Ysewijn (Amazon) (eBay)
At 112 pages long, it isn’t a huge book, just 5.7 x 0.7 x 7.9-inch. But, when it’s all traditional British puddings, well, you have yourself a winner. I love the style of the National Trust cookbooks though you won’t find images here, but sweet illustrations. If you are familiar with Regula’s The British Baking Book or Pride & Pudding, then you’ve gotta get this one too.
For those who don’t know her (okay, I don’t know her, know her), you will use grams and milliliters here. With history, a little humor, and a dash of fun, if you’ve ever been curious to try your hand at a British pudding, let Belgian Regula take your hand and show you the way (and how these recipes align with National Trust Properties).
The author combed through old cookbooks to find time-tested recipes, with a bit of a revamp. She’ll provide the recipe, tips, and serving suggestion, as appropriate. Chapters include: Steamed Puddings, Baked Puddings, Bread Puddings, Milk Puddings, and Trifles. Recipes include Hollygog Pudding, Sticky Date and Butterscotch Pudding, Cabinet Pudding, and Apple Dappy. This book does not copy the other book of Regula’s I mentioned above, just so ya know. New recipes and National Trust = awesome.
Paul Hollywood’s Pies and Pud’s (2014) by Paul Hollywood (Amazon) (eBay)
You know Paul Hollywood from The Great British Baking Show, where he plays the role of the tough host. Now, you can bake his favorite desserts in this 7.64 x 0.93 x 10.13-inch, 224-page cookbook (just remember it’s metric or refer to the back of the book for the conversion chart).
Chapters include: Pastry: Classic Doughs, Techniques; Savoury: Pies and Tarts, Pastries and Portable Pies; Sweet: Pies and Tarts, Hot Puddings, Cold Puddings, Cakes and Pastries. Snack on Chocolate Orange Pond Pudding, Cherry Croissant Pudding, Sticky Toffee Pudding, Chocolate Bread and Butter Pudding, and Traditional Rice Pudding.
If you’ve been confused about how to make certain desserts, the step by step guides for the dough in this book will help any baker figure it out. Of course, you’ll need to make ingredient substitutions for those UK things that we don’t have at our local grocery store. All in all, it’s an eye-appealing book with great recipes and detailed directions.
Pride & Pudding: The History of British Puddings, Savoury and Sweet (2017) by Regula Ysewijn (Amazon) (eBay)
Think of the traditional British puddings, now, image them for a modern kitchen and BAM! You’ve got Regula’s 368-page, 7.38 x 1.5 x 10.5-inch cookbook with lovely photography and history galore. I love the way the original recipe for something is presented, followed by an updated version (you know, one with actual directions haha). Regular also shares the history of a thing.
Chapters include: Boiled and Steamed Puddings; Baked Puddings; Batter Puddings; Bread Puddings; Jellies, Milk Puddings, and Ices; and Master Recipes. Kentish Cherry Pudding, Jersey Wonders, Cabbage Pudding, War and Peace Pudding, and Poor Knights of Windsor will get you started.
While the term “pudding” may stand for any sweet end-of-the-meal treat, that is not how Regula uses it. Expect an entire book devoted to all things pudding, past and present. Lovely images, unique illustrations, more than 80 recipes, and a big, good dose of history. Part food book, part cookbook, all awesome.
The Pudding Club Book: 100 Luscious Recipes from the Pudding Club
(1997) by Keith and Jean Turner with Annette Balfour Lynn (Amazon) (eBay)
6.25 x 0.5 x 9-inch, 128-page cookbook featuring puddings on puddings on puddings. No illustrations and, save for eight images in the center of the book, that’s it for those too. No matter. The directions are clear and easy to follow. What began as a group of 60 people enjoying seven different puddings (desserts) turned into a frequent event and this cookbook. Tip: If you love The Pudding Club Book (and you will), you can also pick up The Summer Pudding Club book.
Chapters include: Winter Warmers, Seasonal Surprises, Regional Round-Up, Festive Occasions, Puddings of the Evening, Crumbles and Other Toppings, and Apart from Custard. I hardly know where to begin. So many puddings! Let’s see if I can’t decide among them all to give you five of the more unique names. Apricot Cap Sponge Pudding, St. Clement’s Pudding, Hampshire Six-Cup Pudding, Ascot Pudding, and Black Cherry Marble Pudding.
Here’s a great forward by Chris Kelly for you, “Earnest nutritionists will tell you puddings are bad for you. Emaciated diners in restaurants will shun desserts as though they were Satan’s work. Well, to hell with all that. Puddings are glorious and life-enhancing. As long as you eat a pretty balanced diet you have absolutely nothing to fear. It’s high time we pudding lovers made a stand. Bring back the great British pudding, I say. Let’s see that evocative litany of menus both public and private. Let’s revel in one of our greatest gastronomic assets. Let’s join The Pudding Club—and live!”
Puddings and Desserts (1984) by Denise Jarrett Macauley (Amazon) (eBay)
Treat yourself to 64 pages of puddings. The intro states flat-out that the ingredients found in the cookbook are measured for six people. I haven’t seen that before, have you? Puddings and Desserts has a magazine style I really enjoy. It looks as though images are included with each recipe, but it isn’t like one image with one recipe. Rather, some pages have all the recipes on a one- or two-page spread featured in a single image. I like that.
Chapters include: Spring Desserts. Summer Desserts, Autumn Desserts, Winter Desserts, Special Desserts, and Quick Desserts. Denise’s recipes include French Plum Pudding (oh, la la), Alma Pudding with Wine Sauce, Steamed Chocolate Pudding with Rum Sauce, and Viennoise Pudding with German Sauce.
This cookbook has vintage appeal. I have never had a loganberry, but the Loganberry and Hazelnut Galette looks so good, even situated on a pink plate similar in color to its interior, that I just want a bite so bad. The recipe for “Gateau American” cracks me up and I don’t know why. Maybe the use of French in a US recipe is what does it? From cover to cover, this is a well-done cookbook created alongside the staff of Art for Eating.
The Pudding and Pastry Book (1903) by Elizabeth Douglas (Amazon) (eBay)
How about a very vintage book featuring puddings? If you’re a fan of those early 1900s cookbooks, this is for you. No images or illustrations, of course. Marvel over 170 pages of old recipes, methods, and tips.
Most chapters open with a page of “General Directions,” to ensure you know how to measure Chapters include: Milk Puddings; Boiled Custards; Baked Custards; Fruit Dishes; Pancakes; Fritters; Omelets; Baked Soufflés; Soufflé Puddings; Hot Puddings; Sauces; Jellies; Cream; Cold Puddings; Pastry; Open Tarts and Tartlets; American Pies; Cream Ices; Water Ices; Iced Puddings, Mousses, Parfaits, etc.; and Sugars. When Elizabeth begins a new chapter, she includes the recipe name and page number of what’s inside. I like that.
Albemarle Pudding, Bread and Rum Pudding, Palace Pudding, Little Citron Pudding, and Rice Pudding. There are more pudding recipes in this book besides those I listed. Baking these thing won’t be easy. You will need to know something of cooking and baking if you want to use this cookbook. It’s a sign of the times. Let me give you an example. Elizabeth’s recipe for Christmas Plum Pudding II, includes a sizeable list of ingredients and amounts. The directions state: “Boil 12 hours.” Not every recipe is that vague, and she does include directions in the beginning for how to do things, but since we aren’t of that time, it may not be so easy to follow along. But all you experienced vintage cookbook cookers and readers will make good use of it.
Puddings & Desserts: Simple and Delicious Easy-to-Make Recipes (2002) by Lorraine Turner (Amazon) (eBay)
New bakers or anyone on the hunt for uncomplicated pudding recipes should take a look at Lorraine’s 96-page, book. I like the layout here. Each recipe opens with a list of ingredients and, to the left, a box containing important at-a-glance info, like the number of servings, prep time, bake time, and simplicity. Lorraine operates on a one, two, or three peapod scale. One peapod denotes “Easy,” with three peapods being “Extremely Easy.” Yes, these are still homemade recipes.
Chapters include: Puddings and Cakes, Pies and Tarts, Hot desserts, and Cold Desserts. This book considers all desserts “pudding,” so actual pudding recipes include: Sticky Toffee Pudding, Golden Pudding, Individual Chocolate Puddings, Creamy Rice pudding, and Eve’s Pudding.
Part of “Marks and Spencer Essential Collection,” it’s one of several cookbooks created by the UK retail chain. Expect grams or ounces (it is in the non-American section). Images accompany each recipe and, since it is produced by Marks and Spencer, a blip at the front of the book tells you the cookery and page number of a few items in the cookbook that could have been purchased in-store. Keep in mind, this is from 2002, but I find that fun, much like the rest of this cookbook.
Rosemary Shrager’s Bakes, Cakes & Puddings (2014) by Rosemary Shrager (Amazon) (eBay)
Rosemary writes, “Uniquely British, they [steamed puddings] are perfect winter warmers and often have endearingly eccentric names, such as the famous Spotted Dick (see page 160).” You’ll find Marmalade Steamed Sponge Pudding (with step-by-step images) plus an entire page devoted to tips, tricks, and variations in flavor. Choose between Cheat’s Christmas Pudding or Classic Christmas Pudding, and Steak and Ale Pudding (with step-by-step images) and a lengthy tips and ideas section here too.
Chapters include: Breads; Brioche and Danish Pastries; Cakes; Tarts and Pies; Choux Pastry; Puff Pastry; Steamed Puddings; Biscuits; Italian Meringue; Panna Cotta; Ice Cream; Sorbets; Fruit Puddings; and Syrups, Cordials, and Compotes. It’s a 7.87 x 1.06 x 9.45-inch book with 288 pages.
Yes, you’ll find images, but they don’t go with every recipe. All in all, it’s a nice book with lots of variations so you can master one recipe and then try all the things. Rosemary’s advice call-outs will prove beneficial for new and experienced bakers alike. It’s a keeper.
Pudding for Everyone
My mind is abuzz with pudding ideas (the history of pudding alone is intriguing enough). Where do I begin? What do I bake up next? Well, I can tell you that it’s high time I invest in a pudding mould so I can bake UK-style puddings no problem. Good thing there are plenty of these recipes that can be made using the things I already have.
Is there something I forgot? A cookbook I must include? Please, do let me know. This list will be updated as new titles come out or I find a vintage book that needs inclusion.
Leave a Reply