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Grandma and Cherry Pudding

Posted Oct 02 2008 4:23pm
I've been thinking about Grandma a lot lately. Well, I think of her all the time, but even more now that the canning & jelly-making season is here. I can see her so clearly in her steamy kitchen, stirring a bubbling pot of fruit for jam, a wayward curl escaping her bobbie pin to dangle down the middle of her forehead.

Grandma had sour cherry trees in her yard and she used them for preserves and pies, froze them for winter use and also made something that she called cherry pudding. At least that was the title of the recipe that she jotted down for me to put in my cookbook more than 30 years ago.

I don't know why this was called a "pudding" and she didn't either, because it is more like a tender-crumbed sweet bread, but not too sweet. The best way to eat it is straight from the oven in a bowl with a bit of cold milk poured over, but it is equally good by itself, with ice cream or vanilla yogurt, cold, hot, room temperature, with a fork, spoon, fingers...get the picture? You can use other berries, too, like raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, or a combination. If they are fresh, just rinse them lightly. If they're frozen, don't thaw them first, and if they are canned just drain them really well.

Here's Grandma's recipe as she gave it to me with my clarifications in parenthesis.

Cherry Pudding

1 egg
1 c. sugar (white granulated)
3/4 c. sweet milk (regular as opposed to sour or buttermilk)
2 tsps. baking powder
2 c. flour
1 T. butter (melted)
1 c. seeded sour cherries (or berry of your choice)

Bake in slow oven 1 hour. (Heat oven to 325 degrees. Lightly grease a loaf pan or an 8-inch square baking pan. Whisk together the flour, sugar and baking powder. Beat egg lightly and add with butter to milk. Stir wet ingredients into flour mixture until blended (don't overbeat) and stir in berries. Pour into prepared pan and bake for 1 hour, checking after 50 minutes, until golden and tests done with a wooden skewer or toothpick. This freezes well.)

Bon Appétit!
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