An Easy Fruit Dessert – Peach Pudding

Peach Pudding Recipe and Ingredients

Peach Pudding Recipe and Ingredients

About a month ago I had on hand a bag of peaches and wanted to make a quick dessert. My cookbook collection has grown and its easy now to just grab a cookbook and look for a suitable recipe. I found an interesting one in what is quickly becoming my favorite vintage cookbook, Ruth Berolzheimer’s, The American Woman’s Cook Book, 1941.

I wanted to learn more about Ms. Berolzheimer. A bit of googling found a gold mine. Turns out Ms. (or Miss) Berolzheimer was not a great cook at all, but a great organizer and publisher who worked for the Culinary Arts Institute in Chicago. This publishing empire published over 40 cookbooks edited by Ruth Berolzheimer until she finally retired to Southern California in 1949. In her day, she taught American women how to cook, just as Fannie Farmer did for an earlier generation. Here’s a comprehensive list of the cookbooks she edited. O.K., it’s true. I probably won’t be happy until I have them all. Wonder if anyone does? As I look at some of these covers, I realize some of them my Mom had and I threw when out when she passed away. At the time they didn’t seem like anything I’d ever use.

In an earlier blog on Aunt Lillian’s Blueberry Pudding, I went into the history of puddings. Berolzheimer’s cook book has a whole chapter devoted to puddings, showing that by the early 1940s they were still popular. Many are the traditional steamed puddings that take hours in the oven. The one I chose took a lot less (or at least in theory) and was quite simple to prepare. But was still a far cry from a pudding mix that you add milk to and throw into the fridge to congeal.

Here’s the recipe:

Starting the Layers

Starting the Layers

Peach Pudding

  • 6 sliced peaches (or she suggests using canned or 1/2 c. dried peaches, soaked and stewed)
  • 1/4 c. sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 c. milk
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 3 eggs
  • stale bread

Add the sugar, salt and vanilla to the milk and stir in the eggs, well-beaten. Dip slices of stale bread into the mixture and line a quart baking-dish with it. Arrange layers of bread and sliced peaches to fill the dish. Pour any remaining liquid over the top. Set dish in a pan of hot water and bake in a slow oven (325-350 degrees) until firm (30 minutes). Serve hot with any sauces.


The results:

I set the temperature at 350 and it took an hour to cook and even then was still a little watery from the eggs. I didn’t make a sauce to go over it as I didn’t think it needed it. Dan felt it was too bland (and threw it away despite the fact I was still eating it!). I liked it, though it wasn’t super great. Probably the addition of the sause would have improved it. I still hesitate to make sauces, as I’m just not that good at them yet. Many puddings do call for them, so I’d best learn!

Here’s a sauce I’m planning to try:

Vanilla Sauce:

  • 1/2 c. sugar
  • 1 tbs. corn starch
  • nutmeg
  • salt
  • 2 tbs. butter
  • 2 c. boiling water
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
The Finished Peach Pudding

The Finished Peach Pudding

Mix the sugar and corn-starch, add the boiling water and a pinch of salt and boil until thick and clear. Continue cooking over hot water for 20 minutes. Beat in the butter, the vanilla, and a pinch of nutmeg.

One reason my pudding might have taken longer to congeal is that I forgot to soak the bread in the eggs so I had a lot more egg/milk material (liquid) than needed in the pudding. I’d still try this again if I had a batch of peaches, but this time try the sauce with it. Try it and see what you think.

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