Here’s yet another receipt for carrot pudding from a manuscript
cookbook, that of the Van Rensselaers of Albany, New York. It’s
attributed specifically to Maria Sanders Van Rensselaer, who lived
from 1749-1830. The exact date of this particular receipt is not
known, but judging by its contents, I have reason to believe it’s
most likely from the 18th century portion of her lifetime. You’ll
soon see why.
Take 1/2 lb Grated Carrot & 1 lb bread
8 Eggs leave out 1/2 the Wites & mix
the eggs with 1/2 pint of Milk then
Stirr the bread & Carrot 1/2 lb butter
1/2 pint Sack 3 Spoon of Orange water &
Nutmeg & Sweeten to your Likeing Mix
all well together & if not thin enough
stirr in a little Milk let it be a Moderate
thickness lay a puff Paste over the Dish
it well take 1 hour bakeing It also may
be boilt & Serv’d up with Puding Sauce
As to my reasons for thinking it’s highly likely that the above receipt is
from the 18th century, take a look at this one from Hannah Glasse’s
The Art of Cookery Made Plain & Easy:
A Carrot Pudding.
Take a raw Carrot, scrape it very clean,
then grate it, take half a Pound of the
grated Carrot, and a pound of grated
Bread, beat up eight Eggs, leave out
half the Whites, mix the Eggs with half
a Pint of Cream, then stir in the Bread
and Carrot, and half a Pound of fresh
Butter melted, half a Pint of Sack, and
three Spoonfuls of Orange-flower Water,
a Nutmeg grated, sweeten to your Palate.
Mix all well together; and if it is not thin
enough, stir in a little new Milk or Cream.
Let it be of a moderate Thickness, lay
a Puff-paste all over the Dish, and pour
in the Ingredients. Bake it, it will take
an Hour’s baking, or you may boil it;
but then you must melt Butter, and
put in White Wine and Sugar.
Look familiar? Why, yes! The above two receipts are alike. Some
words and phrases are paraphrased, while others are exactly the
same. Even the amounts of several ingredients are perfect matches.
It would seem, therefore, that Maria, living at her home Cherry Hill,
near Albany, copied her carrot pudding receipt directly from Hannah
Glasse’s published work. Or, perhaps, someone else did so, and then
passed it on to her.
Interesting, too, is the fact that, here’s a woman from a prominent
Dutch family in upstate New York, and she has a copy of a receipt
in her personal records that’s most likely from a cookbook published
in Britain. In fact, the introduction to the modern re-print of the Van
Rensselaer manuscript mentions this. It states that such receipts prove
the “anglisizing” of the Dutch. This same phenomenon is mentioned
in Jean Zimmerman’s book, Women of the House, as well. According
to her, early Dutch colonists brought their traditional ways with them,
but members of the third, if not the second, generation of any one
native-born Dutch family were definitely English through and through.
Not to mention, if Maria started her manuscript cookbook when she
was first married (as many women did), seeing as she was about 20
years old at that time, then she was compiling items 100 years after
Britain had taken control of New York and the entire Eastern seaboard.
In short, English ways were the norm.
The manuscript cookbook mentioned above was published in 1976
as Selected Receipts of a Van Rensselaer Family, 1785 – 1835,
compiled and edited by Jane Carpenter Kellar, Ellen Miller, and
Paul Stambach, Historic Cherry Hill, Albany, NY.
NEXT: yep, MORE carrot pudding receipts, maybe even some
from the 19th century!