Small Almond Puddings

Mrs Rundle* tells us that:

‘Very good puddings may be made without eggs … a few spoonfuls of fresh small beer or one of yeast will answer instead of eggs.

‘Or snow is an excellent substitute for eggs, either in puddings or pancakes. Two large spoonfuls will supply the place of one egg and the article it is used in will be equally good. This is a useful piece of information, especially as snow often falls at the season when eggs are dearest … The snow may be taken up from any clean spot before it is wanted and will not lose its virtue, though the sooner it is used the better.’

Very strange information, but not without foundation, since the snow forms air pockets in a light batter by leaving small holes as it melts, making the batter light and well risen. However, eggs are required for their flavour, fat and protein content and not only as a rising agent, and puddings without eggs tend to have a poor, watery taste. Small Almond Puddings are very good if made with four eggs, and it is my view that there is no satisfactory substitute for them. I have here adapted the recipe:

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Ingredients

  • 8 oz. (240 g.) ground almonds
  • 1 oz. (30 g.) whole almonds, chopped
  • 4 eggs
  • 4 oz. (120 g.) butter
  • 2 oz. (60 g.) sugar
  • 2 tablespoons double cream
  • 1 tablespoon brandy

Method

Mix the almonds all together with the butter melted in a tablespoon of water. Well beat the eggs (having separated and kept back two whites) and stir them together with the sugar, cream and brandy into the almond mixture. Place in small buttered soufflé dishes or ramekins and bake, standing in a tray of water, for 15 minutes at 350° F., gas mark 4, when they should be just firm to the touch. Turn out and serve with any sweet sauce.

Mrs Rundle suggests ‘pudding-sauce’, i.e. sweet white sauce, but they are better with a sharp orange or lemon sauce (see p. 308).

* In A New System of Domestic Cookery, 1807.