Vintage 1905 Steamed British "Mother Eve's Pudding" Recipe

Wayne and I enjoyed a beautiful British steamed pudding after our Christmas dinner. As promised, here is the recipe for this obscure 1905 treat, Mother Eve's Pudding from my British Women's Cookery Book. This recipe was submitted by Miss Orkney from Bervie. (I found an earlier recipe in poetry form online.) I cut the recipe in half, as follows, for a smaller pudding:

2 large eggs: 140 calories
3 oz bread crumbs ground fine. (I used ground gluten-free crackers but will bake my own gluten-free bread to make crumbs next time): 420 calories
3 oz currants: 240 calories
3 medium apples: 240 calories
2.5 oz sugar (I used brown): 275 calories
Nutmeg (I used 1/2 tsp)

Put the bread crumbs in a bowl, add the apples peeled and chopped, then the currants, sugar and nutmeg.

Add the eggs well beaten, mix well, pour in buttered mould and boil slowly for three hours.

It seemed simple up until that part, right? I was able to find this very helpful BBC video that demonstrates how to steam a pudding. I followed the instructions and used parchment paper, aluminum foil, heat safe string and a buttered vintage Pyrex bowl placed on a trivet in a cast iron dutch oven. I filled the water so that it reached halfway up the bowl.

I set the heat on medium and turned it down when it came to a boil. I left it to a slow boil for three whole hours, checking the water level from time to time.

I had no idea what was going on in there! What kind of transformation would take place?! I've followed many vintage recipes before and oftentimes I was very pleasantly surprised with the end result. Still, I had my doubts. 

My doubts were confirmed! After three hours I removed the bowl and uncovered it. All it looked like was a heated mess of ingredients! What a waste of time!

I decided to keep an open mind and continued to trust Miss Orkney. I let the hot mess cool and gently ran a rubber spatula around the edges before flipping it upside down over a serving plate. 

Wow!!! It was a legit pudding!!!

I mean, look at that! I try to minimize vintage cookery drama in the kitchen but I was high-fiving the sky, thanking Mrs. O, then ran over to Wayne with my creation. "I did it! I did it!"

So the bottom isn't level but the rest is moist, delicately sweet and delicious. We really liked it with vanilla bean ice cream. I may try it with warm maple syrup next, and yes there will be a next time! 

This little pudding makes eight servings with about 165 calories each not including your toppings and additions. 

Now that I'm over my fear of steaming pudding I have a list of recipes to try out!

Have you ever had or made a steamed pudding?


  1. Mmm...your pudding sounds (and looks) heavenly! My Aunt Audrey used to make a steamed carrot pudding for Thanksgiving and Christmas. She'd make it in a coffee can, and I remember loving how the can's ridges would show up on the sides of the pudding when she removed it. One of my favorite parts of the dessert was the sweet, creamy sauce that went over the warm pudding. I found out years later that it was a hard sauce (brandy?), which even the kids got to eat (maybe the alohol was cooked out...or not!). I'm thinking the pudding recipe was from my grandmother, whose family was English. Darn, now I'm hungry! ;0

    1. Lois, how lovely that you were able to enjoy English cookery from your grandma's side! Coffee "tins", as they called it in my old recipe books, are often offered as an option. You are correct that the traditional sauce for a steamed pudding usually contains a hard sauce. Since Wayne and I are dry we abstain since not all of the alcohol evaporates. A steamed carrot pudding sounds really good!

  2. Your steamed pudding looks delicious! Yes, I make a steamed pudding every Christmas from a recipe in Marguerite Patten's wartime cookbook "We'll Eat Again". My family has really enjoyed it. Sometimes, I make steamed puddings during the year, but they are much more "plain". My son "laughs" (in a good way) at my addiction to British wartime cookery. This year's Christmas pudding crumbled a bit, but it was my first attempt at a "gluten-free" pudding. I used Scottish oats in place of the breadcrumbs, and almond flour in place of the flour, which may be why it crumbled. It tasted good anyway.

    1. How interesting that you mention Scottish oats, because I almost used them instead of the crumbs. Gluten-free definitely makes it more challenging. I feel so late to the steamed pudding party! :)


Post a Comment

Comments are now closed on Outdated By Design which was retired in April of 2017. I am leaving my blog archives online. If you need to reach me please use the handy contact form. Thanks!