How to cook puddings

(Recipe #1, pages 151 – 152)

Care of Molds. It should be noted to start that a pudding mold that has been damaged must not be used until it has been filled with water—obviously the outside must be perfectly dry—and set in a dry place for a while, until you are convinced that it is watertight. If there is the slightest opening, the pudding will be a total failure.

Before each use, the mold must be rubbed with a dry cloth without missing any spot, coated generously with butter, and then sprinkled with fine zwieback crumbs or grated white bread crusts. If the coating is insufficient, the mold will not release and the pudding will come out crumbled. After use it is important not to set the mold aside carelessly but to cleanse it properly with newspaper and store it in a dry place.

Almond Grater. If almonds are called for, they can be ground in a mortar with a bit of water or else in a grater. The latter is preferable, and reference is made here to section I, no. 34.

Stirring the Pudding Dough. The dough must be stirred thoroughly. The whites of very fresh eggs, without the slightest trace of yolk (see section I, no. 33), must be beaten until very stiff by a helper so that the cook is not forced to interrupt the stirring. As soon as the beaten whites have been slightly stirred through the dough, the pudding must be poured into the mold immediately and—except in the case of yeast puddings—the mold set in boiling water.

Filling the Mold and Cooking the Pudding. For yeast puddings, the mold is filled a bit more than half and placed on the stove in lukewarm water; for other puddings, the mold is generally filled ¾ full. Then cover the mold tightly, seal the rim with a thick paste of flour and water, and set the mold in boiling water that does not reach the rim; otherwise water could easily enter the mold and prevent the pudding from rising. To keep the mold from floating up, which it sometimes tends to do, weight it with a couple of box-iron slugs. The pudding must cook evenly and continuously, requiring the occasional addition of boiling water alongside the mold. It is also important not to jar the mold, which might cause the pudding to fall.

Cooking the Pudding in a Cloth. If the pudding is to be cooked in a pudding cloth instead of a mold, the cloth must first be rinsed thoroughly in hot water and then wrung dry. Brush the entire surface that will be in contact with the pudding with butter or lard and dredge it with flour. The space between the edge of the cloth and the dough must be neither too wide nor too narrow, and the water must boil vigorously continuously; otherwise the pudding will be a heavy failure. A mold is always preferable.

Serving. The dish on which a pudding is served should be warmed. In winter and when the kitchen is a distance from the dining room, remove the pudding from the mold just before entering the room.

All puddings are best cooked in a steamer.

Translated by David Green.

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