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Carrot Custard

Carrot Custard (Time 0_01_52;06)Today we’re doing a carrot pudding out of Amelia Simmons’ cookbook, but this one’s more like, say, a carrot custard.Carrot Custard (Time 0_00_33;20)

  • 1 cup boiled, mashed Carrots
  • 5 Eggs
  • ¼ cup butter
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
  • Rose Water to Taste (optional)

Whisk eggs and add to carrots. Add butter, sugar, and cinnamon. This is also where you would add the rose water if you are using it.Carrot Custard (Time 0_00_56;24)

Pre-butter a deep dish for baking and pour in mixture. Carrot Custard (Time 0_01_36;21)

Bake at 350 degrees for at least an hour. Check for doneness when golden brown on top.Carrot Custard (Time 0_02_13;02)

Transcript of Video:

In our last episode of 18th Century cooking, we did a carrot pudding. It was a bit more like a bread pudding. Today we’re doing a second carrot pudding out of Amelia Simmons’ cookbook, but this one’s more like, say, a carrot custard.

So let’s look at this Amelia Simmons recipe. It’s very short and simple and she leaves some stuff out, but here it goes, “Carrot pudding, a cup full of boiled and strained carrots, 5 eggs, 2 ounces sugar and butter each, cinnamon and rose water to taste, baked in a deep dish without a paste.” Very, very simple, so let’s get started.

We need about a cup of boiled and mashed carrots. The next thing we need are 5 eggs. I whisked these up nicely. Now we need butter. We need 2 ounces of butter and 2 ounces of sugar. To this, we’re going to add cinnamon, let’s say a teaspoon of cinnamon, just cinnamon to taste we’ll say. The recipe calls for rose water. You know, I really don’t care for the kind of aroma that rose water gives off in the recipes. It’s very common in 18th century recipes, but I haven’t yet acquired the taste yet, so I’m going to leave the rose water out.

She recommends baking this in a deep dish. The amount that this makes is just perfect for a little tin bowl. Make sure you pre-butter it before you pour this mixture in. She didn’t give a baking time for this. I baked mine for about an hour. It might take even a little bit more, but so you’re just going to have to watch it. Go ahead and bake it at 350 degrees.

So this pudding’s definitely very different than the last one. I can’t wait to find out just how different it tastes.

It’s definitely a good bit eggier instead of bready. The sweetness is definitely there. The cinnamon is nice. This is really, really good stuff, and the carrot adds a good bit of flavor, but it doesn’t have any kind of, you know, nasty carrotiness. When I was a kid, I really didn’t care for carrots very much, but this is really, really good.

Carrot Pudding

Carrot Pudding(Time 0_03_22;29)Today’s recipe, a 17th century carrot pudding, comes from The Compleat Cook by Rebecca Price.Carrot Pudding (Time 0_00_27;18)

  • 6 ounces Breadcrumbs (or Cornmeal)
  • 4 Egg Yolks
  • 2 Egg whites
  • 1 cup Milk
  • 1-2 tablespoons Honey (or Maple Syrup)
  • 2 ounces Sack (Wine)
  • Pinch of Nutmeg
  • 8 ounces Shredded Carrots
  • 2 ounces Melted Butter

Mix together eggs well beaten, milk, honey and Sack.Carrot Pudding (Time 0_01_43;00)

Add nutmeg, carrots, and breadcrumbs.Carrot Pudding (Time 0_02_17;08)

Add in melted butter and enough milk to make the consistency of batter. Pour into well buttered dish and bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes.Carrot Pudding (Time 0_02_59;03)

Transcript of Video:

In the episode today, we’re going to be baking a 17th century carrot pudding. Thanks for joining us today on 18th Century Cooking with James Townsend and Son.

Carrots are perfect for this time of year in the early spring. These root vegetables have been held over from last fall, so that’s what we’re going to cook with today.

Today’s recipe comes from The Compleat Cook by Rebecca Price. This book is available online. You can usually find it used. I don’t think it’s currently in print. Rebecca Price’s book is a manuscript collection of recipes from the late 17th century, somewhere around 1680. We can tell it’s a collection, because she calls this recipe a carrot pudding baked, my Lady How’s Recipe. I went digging through the old cookbooks and I found very similar recipes throughout the 18th century. There’s even one here in Primitive Cookery which is one of the cookbooks that we offer.

So this is a very simple recipe to put together. We start off with bread crumbs and what she calls for is the crumb of a two penny loaf. Now that’s very ambiguous. Loaves changed in size throughout this time period and it really depended on the sizes at the time as to how much a bread loaf weighed and in fact, the two penny loaf could be a two penny wheaten loaf or a two penny household loaf. I’m guessing from the idea that it’s Lady How’s recipe that we’re using a fairly high class bread, so it’s going to be the wheaten loaf and a two penny loaf, in the time frame, may have weighed, say, a little over a pound. I’m going to be adjusting this recipe and so we’re going to use just 6 ounces of breadcrumbs.

Let’s start off with the wet ingredients first. I’ve got 4 egg yolks, two egg whites. I’ve got my milk. This is 1 cup of milk, at least to start off with. The recipe calls for sweetening to taste. Here, we’re going to use honey, say, a tablespoon or two. A couple of ounces of sack. Sack, in the time period, is a wine used many times in cooking and it’s a kind of Sherry.

I’m going to put in just a pinch of nutmeg here. Now let’s add in our carrots, 8 ounces of shredded carrots, and finally, let’s add 6 ounces of bread crumbs, and the last thing we’re going to use here is 2 ounces of melted butter.

If your batter seems too dry, just add a little more milk until you get to a consistency that seems right. Now that our batter is mixed up, put it in a pre-buttered dish here. Some of the later recipes actually call for using a puff paste crust in this. There’s no reference to a crust in this particular recipe and I found that it works just fine by baking it straight in this dish.

Rebecca Price’s recipe suggests baking this for a half hour. Mine took a little bit longer, 35-40 minutes. I would bake it at approximately 350 degrees.

Let’s give this a try. Mmm, mmm, very, very nice. It’s really, it’s not too sweet, but it’s still plenty sweet. It’s almost like a bread pudding. In fact, in the later recipes, the 18th century ones, many times double the amount of bread crumbs in this, so it would be very much more like, say, a bread pudding with a little bit of carrot added. The sack and the butter have got some wonderful flavor in here. I think it’s one of the missing sauces that’s not popular today. Having a sack and butter sauce, very, very good, especially on this. The carrots are really good, but they don’t stand out so much that if you’ve got a picky eater, they won’t mind the carrots in this.

I was thinking about this recipe in a North American context and variations on it. In New England, white bread crumbs aren’t necessarily readily available in the 18th century, so what are you going to use instead? Cornmeal, I’ll bet, would be a great alteration. So if you put cornmeal in instead of the bread crumbs, and maybe instead of the honey, maple syrup, you’d have a great New England variation on this recipe.

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