This past Sunday, I was once again cooking at the hearth
of the Israel Crane House over in Montclair, NJ. Despite
our recent Halloween snow storm and the lack of much
color on this area’s trees, it IS still fall! So I made these
season-appropriate dishes from American Cookery (1796)
by Amelia Simmons: a Pompkin [sic] pudding; and a few
Now, due to limited weekend hours at the House, and
the fact that I have to lug my supplies over to Jersey
via public transportation, I did some prep work ahead
of time. Thus the pumpkin and the apples were pared,
cored, cut, and cooked down at home.
For the pudding, I had hoped to use a cheese pumpkin,
as it’s the most historically-correct. However, I couldn’t
find any (dagnabit!) this year, so I used a pie pumpkin.
A sugar pumpkin would work as well, although I’m not
sure that’s it not the exact same pumpkin. I’ve even seen
“use a sugar pie pumpkin” in some modern recipes! Your
common field pumpkins are probably not the best, as they
tend to be rather tough. Besides, they’re really only meant
for carving all those spooky jack o’lanterns.
For the tarts, I used Lady Apples, which have been around,
literally, for centuries. In fact, their first recorded use was
in Europe during the early 1600s. They were grown on this
continent, as well, and were highly popular from colonial times
into the 19th century. A fairly small apple, I’d say they’re much
more flavorful than other varieties. When they’re cooked down,
you can just smell the difference. It was amazing! Unfortunately,
they’re not widely available. I just happened on to them at one
of my local groceries, and so I bought several in order to make
OK. Enough of that. On to the cooking at Crane’s!
Everything’s on the table and ready to go:
First up, the Pompkin Pudding:
The pudding was indeed a pudding. It was light, airy, and
very custard-like. I’m not a fan of modern-day pumpkin pies,
as they tend to be dry and dense, but this…it was definitely
the opposite. HUZZAH!
We also offered up some lovely hot mulled cider:
Next, the Apple Tarts:
As you saw above, the pudding was similar to a pie in that
it had a crust (bottom only). I used the leftover dough to line
my tart pans:
The cooking’s done, the fire’s dying out. Time to head home.
NEXT: first, the recipes for the above and then (I promise!)
my other Yorkshire Pudding