Lea Wait, here. Many of you know that next June I will turn (part-time) into Cornelia Kidd, and write the Maine Café series, a food mystery series featuring two sisters who meet as adults and open a restaurant on a Maine island.
Since my own personal food preferences are … diverse … one of the sisters is Korean-American and one is a multi-generation Mainer whose grandmother, also a character in the series, was born in Quebec. The sisters will feature cuisine from all of those areas in their restaurant (and in their own kitchens,) and will also be sharing some research on “heritage recipes.”
Bob and I have had a lot of fun modifying, cooking, and taste-testing the recipes that will be in the book.
Here’s a sneak peak at some of my research — and one of our recipes!
In early 17th century North American puddings, or duffs, as they were sometimes called, were ingredients put in a cloth bag, hung inside or above a pot being used to cook other food, and cooked for four or five hours. They were basic parts of almost every meal.
After stoves came into common usage in the middle of the 19th century puddings were baked and usually served as desserts, with lemon, wine, or brandy sauces. New Englanders used molasses or maple syrup as sweeteners instead of sugar.
The recipe included here is a classic apple pudding, to which my cook has added cranberries. Similar apple puddings are called pandowdies, slumps, cobblers, or grunts in different parts of the United States and Canada.
5 medium-sized Granny Smith or other tart apples, sliced as you would for apple pie. Peel or not peel — your choice.
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup dried sweetened cranberries
4 Tablespoons butter, softened
1 Cup white sugar
1 cup four
1 teaspoon baking powder
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter rectangular pan (approximately 7 x 12 inches). Mix apple slices and cranberries, spread evenly in pan, and sprinkle with brown sugar. In medium sized mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar, then add eggs and mix well. Add flour and baking powder; mix thoroughly. Drop large spoonfuls of batter on top of apples.
Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in middle of pudding comes away clean. Service warm or art room temperature. (Tastes especially good topped with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream. Serves 6.
And – of course – enjoy!