We, too, are fond of proper English puddings. We, too, collect ancient pudding tins and molds. We, too, collect old cookbooks. Really, nothing says loving like a good spotted dick. Seriously, this is one of those cookbooks you simply have to love.
First, Ysewijn, gives credit to all those who have gone before. Some Flemish girl didn't invent steamed pudding, but she sure knows a thing or two about them. She traces the history of pudding in English culture from A Book of Cookrye, published in 1584 right through to Heston Blumenthal. She shoots her own photos, and each image resembles a painting. She shows off her collection of pudding basins along with many cookbooks. There is a large bibliography tucked in the back. It is a true embarrassment of riches.
Again, simply ask yourself, when was the last time you found a really great blancmange recipe? That calf's foot blancmange from Catharine Beecher get old real fast!
If you buy one cookbook this week (OK, "this month" is the best we can do) grab a copy of Pride and Pudding. Before the book was published, one cold actually purchase a matching pudding bowl to accompany the book. Now you know we want to order one, but shipping books to the US is hard enough without adding a ceramic bowl. Still, we are really sorry we didn't get one.
Take a look at this recipe for rice pudding. Ysewijn lists a series of cookbooks that offer up a "rice pudding" that made with a stock. Rice pudding as it known today is often a cloyingly sweet mass of rice sugar and milk. Traditionally, a rice pudding was more like an Italian risotto. Given the choice, we choose this recipe.
120g short-grain rice, such as arborio
500ml beef broth
500ml almond milk
A few saffron strands
Put the rice and broth in a deep saucepan and heat gently. Stir well and bring to the boil. Simmer and stir often so the rice doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan.
When the liquid is almost completely absorbed, after about 15 minutes, add the almond milk and saffron. Stir well, then simmer gently for 20-30 minutes, stirring every now and then until all the liquid is absorbed and the rice is cooked and thick. Spoon the cooked rice pudding into a serving dish.
You can keep tabs on Ysewijn, AKA Miss Foodwise here.