I am currently reading The Invention of Wings* by Sue Monk Kidd, a novel about the life of a slave and her mistress in the very early 19th century Charleston, South Carolina. In it, I came across a recipe for Bird’s Nest Pudding, a dessert which I missed when I was giving you a compendium of the early American desserts made with fruits.
I don’t recall ever hearing of Bird’s Nest Pudding, but when I went searching on line for recipes, I found that it figured in the Laura Ingalls Wilder Book Farmer Boy, so I surely must have read about it long ago. (A recipe for this apple dessert is also included in the Little House Cookbook.)
Who could resist trying a recipe with such an intriguing name?
An early cookbook version of the recipe in The American Frugal Housewife by Mrs. Child published in Boston, 1833, starts with the lovely phrase, “Take eight or ten pleasant apples.”
So, here you go–a dessert to make with your pleasant apples.
Bird’s Nest (Baked Apple) Pudding
- 6 apples
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 cup milk
- 1 teaspoon maple flavoring (or 1 Tablespoon maple syrup) (optional)
- 1 cup flour
- 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
Although the recipe calls for six baked apples, I had very small apples on hand, so the picture shows a pudding made with nine baked apples.
Some recipes call for a special heated cream sauce made with one pint of heavy cream, 1/2 cup confectioner's sugar and a bit of ground nutmeg.
*I will be including a review of The Invention of Wings in a future newsletter as part of the bonus material written just for readers of the newsletter. If you want to get these little extras, along with reminders once a week of what’s going on at Ancestors in Aprons, be sure to subscribe to the newsletter.
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