A rice pudding with raisins, dates, & currants - contributed by Judith Carr

Original recipe from Gervase Markham, The English Huswife:

Take a half pound of rice and steep it in new milk a whole night and in the morning drain it and let the milk drop away; then take the best, sweetest and thickest creme and put the rice into it and boil it a little; and set it to cool an hour or two and after, put in the yolks of half a dozen eggs, a little pepper, cloves, mace, currants, dates, sugar and salt; and having mixed them well together, put in a great store of beef suet well beaten and small shred and so put it into the frames and boil them as before showed, and serve them after a day old.

Modern recipe:

  • 1 lb. rice
  • 1 quart water
  • 1/2 pint heavy cream
  • 1/4 lb. shredded beef suet
  • 1/8 lb. each raisins, currants, and dates
  • 1/4 tsp. each pepper, cloves, mace, & salt
  • 3 egg yolks, well beaten
  • sugar & cinnamon
Bring salted water to boil in a heavy pot. Add cream, rice and suet. Cover pot with tight fitting lid and let cook, simmering, until rice begins to be tender (about half an hour). Stir once; add raisins, dates & currants. Add spices. Add egg yolks; stir well into liquid mixture. Cook until well done; garnish with a little sugar & cinnamon.

This dish can be served hot or cold; Markham's bread puddings are served hot. With the suet, it sounds like a sweetish side dish, like the Yorkshire Puddings of today, rather than a sweet dessert. I believe the "frames" referred to are forms or pudding molds. Markham refers to "frames" in his "Best White Pudding" receipt; "frames" could also be cleaned animal intestines, used in boiled puddings as a casing.

Rice is featured in Auld Alliance Royal Feast

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Judith Carr is an expert in Medieval baking and antique furniture restoration. An active member of the Society for Creative Anachronism, she is known for her love of animals, especially cats.

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