Thursday, September 20, 2012

Cottage pudding, or that post about neglected desserts (note the two s's)

It's blog hop day for Hearts at Home and the topic is to share a fall recipe and the story behind it.

This is easy. I love recipes with stories. They are part of each family's history and a way of connecting generations together. If you haven't started to collect your family's recipes, do it now! And if you have the recipes, but don't have the stories associated with them written down, the next time you make one, just write something about it in the margins.

The recipe I'm going to share is one of my favorite desserts from childhood. For a good part of that childhood, we would have Sunday dinner after church at my grandmother's house. She lived within a few blocks of the church and I can remember her slipping at the beginning of the last hymn to take the roast (in my memory it was always a roast) out of the oven and get things ready. My family would then gather ourselves and then join her at her home for dinner. The table was always set with the good china, there was always a relish tray with pickles and olives, and there was always dessert. Cottage pudding was often the dessert... I could have eaten it every week.

It's not really a pudding, but a cake (which works better stale) that is cut and served in bowls and a hot sugary/lemony/buttery sauce is then passed and each person pours some of the syrup over the cake. The cake then becomes pretty soft and gooey, thus the pudding title. I have a sneaking suspicion that this is one of those foods (along with okra?) which is an acquired taste, but one that I love because I grew up with it. One of the first times J. had dinner with my family at my grandmother's house she served this. I was thrilled because it was the only place I ever had it, J., not so much. He is a polite man and ate it, but we'll just say it won't be on his list of favorite foods.

I have been wanting to make it for my children (and for me), but it turns out I didn't have the recipe. Thankfully my mother did and she shared it with me and so I'm sharing it with you. I am sharing it untested because I haven't had a chance to make it yet, but I'll update this post with any hints once I do. And probably the reactions of my children will be an entire post of itself.

Cottage Pudding

Sift together 1-3/4 cups flour, 2 tsp. baking powder, 1/2 tsp. salt

Add 1/4 cup shortening, 3/4 cup sugar, 1 egg, 3/4 cup milk, 1 tsp. vanilla

Beat until smooth; pour into a greased 9 inch square pan.

Bake at 350 for 25 to 30 min. Serve with vanilla or lemon sauce.

Lemon Sauce (Be sure to make a lot... I can remember drowning my cake with it)

Mix in a sauce pan 1 cup sugar and 2 TBSP cornstarch. gradually stir in 2 cups of water.

 Boil 1 minute, stirring constantly.

Remove from heat and stir in 1/4 cup butter and 2 tsp vanilla or lemon flavoring. Serve warm with the cake.


Lisa G said...

I love the story. I remember going to my grandparents' house on Sunday afternoons also.

Mandy said...

Love the legacy that goes along with the recipe! I can remember my mom sneaking out during the last song too~ so funny! The cake sounds great- I love anything you can smother in lemon! Thanks for hopping with us!

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