Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Puff Puddings: An Early 19th c. Maryland Recipe for a Sweet Entremet

Puff Puddings: An Early 19th c. Maryland Recipe

The Recipe: Puff Puddings
This recipe is a type of batter pudding. Of course, as was typical with historic recipes, the ingredient amounts to be used are vague, so I had to use experience and estimation to get a good balance of ingredients that actually made the pudding puff. 

This type of pudding was designed to be eaten as a sweet because it states is should be served with butter, sugar and nutmeg, which works very well. I also experimented with honey and cinnamon-sugar, which is very tasty, too. 

In the early 19th c., this type of dish would have been known as a sweet entremet and would have been served typically in the second course of a French service meal (where 2-3 broad courses of multiple dishes were served family-style). Entremets were less important dishes, or smaller versions of entrees, designed to surround the more central entrees and releves (usually roasts). Importantly, sweet entremets were often served with savory dishes and not relegated to the final dessert course, as they are now.

This manuscript recipe can be found at the Maryland State Archives in the Griffen/Goldsborough Collection of Family Papers. It dates to c. 1832.

Modern Recipe Adaptation: Puff Puddings

Batter Ingredients:

  • Butter
  • 6 Eggs
  • 6 Tablespoons Whole Milk
  • 6 Tablespoons All-Purpose Flour
  • Pinch of Salt, optional
  • Optional Toppings: Butter, Sugar & Nutmeg Sauce, or Honey, or Cinnamon-Sugar


  1. Heat oven to 400º F.
  2. Butter 6 ramekins and place them on a baking sheet.
  3. Whisk together the eggs, milk, and flour. 
  4. While the oven is still heating, place the buttered ramekins in the oven for about 4-5 minutes. Then, remove them from the oven and place about 5-6 tablespoons of the batter into each one.
  5. When the oven is fully heated to 400º, return the filled ramekins to the oven and bake for about 12-14 minutes, until the puddings are puffed up and completely firm to the touch but not dried out.
  6. Serve immediately with a sauce made with butter, sugar, and nutmeg to taste, or with honey and/or cinnamon-sugar.

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