The earliest recipes for this pudding occur in fourteenth-century manuscripts. This one comes from Arundel. Flowers were used in cooking for their colour and flavour in the Middle Ages as a matter of course. Rose petals, violets, borage, cowslips and marigolds were all used as an integral part of various creams and tarts. Nasturtium flowers and striped carnation petals were used for decoration on salads and cold creams. Serve the gloriously orange Marigold Pudding (which is lighter than the usual flour and suet pudding) very hot, with plenty of thick cream. The marigolds give it a very subtle flavour.
Mix all the ingredients except the milk well together, then stir in only just enough milk to bind. Put the pudding in a well-buttered bowl and cover closely with foil. Stand the bowl in a saucepan of boiling water (the water must come about halfway up the sides of the bowl) and steam for 3 hours. Never let the water go off the boil. Fill up with boiling water from time to time.
Turn out and sprinkle the reserved marigold petals on top.
©1980 The Estate of Elizabeth Ayrton