Apple Pudding-Pie

Of course I made this. I have a ready supply of apples and LOOK AT THE NAME:

Apple or peach pudding-pie or pie-pudding, no. 2, Yankee style


Sweet milk, 1 cup
1 egg
Butter, 1 tablespoon, heaping
Baking powder,  1 teaspoon
Flour 1 cup or sufficient to make a rather thick batter (‘batter’ means like cake, better to handle with a spoon or easy to pour  out)
A little salt
Tart juicy apples to fill half an earthen pudding dish


Stir the baking powder into the sifted flour; melt the butter, beat the egg and stir all well together, having pared and sliced the apples or peaches, buttered the dish and laid in the fruit to only half fill it, dip the batter over the fruit to wholly cover it, as with a crust; the dish should not be quite full, lest as it rises it runs over in baking.

Bake in  moderate oven to a nice brown, to be done just ‘at the nick of time’ for dinner. Turn it bottom up upon a pie plate, and grate over nutmeg or sprinkle on some powdered cinnamon or other spices as preferred; then sprinkle freely nice white sugar and serve with sweet cream or rich milk, well sweetened. Peaches, pears, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, etc, in their season, work equally as well as apples.

by Mrs Sarah A Earley, Mt. Pleasant, Iowa.

Remarks [by Chase]
This plan avoids the soggy and indigestible bottom of a crust; and it matters not whether you call it a pie or a pudding. It eats equally well, even cold, with plenty of sugar and milk, having the cream stirred in.

From ‘A Guide to Wealth! Over One Hundred Valuable Recipes for Saloons, Inn-Keepers, Grocers, Druggists, Merchants and Families Generally’ (1858) by Dr Alvin Wood Chase, quoted in Buffalo Cake and Indian Pudding (Penguin Great Food, 2011)


  • I used 2 Newton Wonder apples,
  •  What happened to the milk, doctor? I added the egg to the flour first, then the milk with the butter melted into it. It went lumpy. I whisked it and the lumps vanished.
  •  I used a pyrex pudding basin and despite my buttering it thoroughly, the bottom of the pudding (where there was less batter) stuck to it and had to be removed with a spoon in chunks.
  •  After scraping the whole lot out onto a plate, I grated over some nutmeg, sprinkled on some cinnamon and about a dessertspoon of sugar.
  • Regarding the name, I was reading  William Verrall’s Complete System of Cookery (1759) and it contains a recipe for Pudding Pie, which is a precursor to bread-and-butter pudding (basically the same but with no butter).

Obviously, you might get a tidier result if you used less fruit or perhaps a shallower dish.

The baked batter mixture was a rarely seen shade of dark beige and had the creamy, buttery flavour of pastry but a smooth, springy texture, rather like firm Scotch pancake.

The apples had a good flavour  without any extra sweetener or spice (fresh Newton Wonders are equally good cooked or raw, though at this time of year, after a couple of months in storage, they‘re better cooked). I cut the it into big enough chunks to cook until soft, but keep their shape. I didn’t try it with cream and I think cream might smother the taste.

I can’t explain how I draw the line between something being undemanding but delicious or just boring, but this was on the right side. It  felt like the kind of food one might give a convalescent or a heart-broken friend, and as such, I have been eating it for breakfast.

Pudding’d by Elly


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