How to make a Quaking Pudding – Boiled Puddings Part 2 – 18th Century Cooking Series S2E3

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So in last week’s episode, we covered a
simple boiled plum pudding, which consisted
of equal parts flour, milk, eggs, butter,
and the plums or raisins in that case, but
I thought we would look at the boiled puddings
and explore this idea a little bit farther.
I think there’s a lot more to learn.
So here’s a little piece that I ran into while
I was doing research. It’s from a 1780 gentleman’s
monthly intelligence. It was a section on
diet. It says, “There is at this time residing
in Essex a person famed for his mode of living.
Being formally reduced to a state of general
weakness from free and luxurious living, he
took up a resolution of dieting himself thus,
he has a pound of flour and a pint of cold
water mixed and then tied up in a cloth and
boiled and on this food he’s lived entirely
for many years. Though he is old, he is hardy,
strong, vigorous and active.”
I thought that was very interesting, somebody
living on nothing but flour, a flour pudding,
boiled, and then I was thinking about soldiers
living on nothing but their meat and a simple
flour ration.
Also, many period recipes cover putting apples
inside of a pudding and boiling that. Those
two ideas, I thought we’d put together and
make a simple soldier style pudding. Nothing
but flour, an apple off of a tree and wrapped
in a little bit of scrap cloth. Just what
a soldier might be able to make.
So let’s make up a very simple, nothing but
flour and water paste. We’re just going to
take about two handfuls of flour and we’re
going to add in some nice cool water and then
mix that up. We kind of want it to be not
very stiff kind of a paste here. Okay, so
not too stiff. We want to be able to form
it around it without it fighting.
Once that’s ready, we need to take our apple
and I’ve already quartered this. We’re going
to take out the seeds and the stem.
Let’s take our quartered apple and put it
back together into an apple shape and then
take our paste, which has thickened up a little
bit as I was working on it, and we’re just
going to wrap it around that apple so it’s
all about a quarter of an inch thick. It grows
as it cooks so it doesn’t need to be terribly thick.
And there we can see, now we can
put this inside of our floured cloth.
There we are.
And let’s flour this up.
And now it’s time to wrap it up in the cloth.
We’re just going to set it in the center and
gather it up, and you definitely want to give
it a little bit of room so that it can grow
while it’s cooking. Not too tight. Let’s go
toss it in.
Let’s make sure our water is boiling and it
should take about an hour for this apple pudding.
While this is cooking, we’re going to cover
a quaking pudding. Those don’t take very long
to cook either.
So, quaking pudding is much more like that
modern day pudding idea that we have in our
heads. Let’s take a look at the ingredients.
So, let’s put together this pudding. We’re
going to put together our dry ingredients
first and then our wet ingredients. We’re
going to need about a half a cup of flour.
Now we don’t have to be precise. This is definitely
different than the plum pudding. The ratios
are much different, a lot less flour and a
lot more liquid parts. About a half a cup
of flour, now let’s put in, we need about
2 tablespoons of sugar, we’ve got this pretty
much all ground up.
There we are.
We need some salt, maybe a half a teaspoon of salt.
We’re definitely going to need some
of those same kind of spices. We’ve got some
mace here, a teaspoon full. We’ve got some
ground ginger, same amount. So, you’ll need
a quarter to a half of a nutmeg grated up.
For our last dry ingredient I have some almonds
here. I’ve got maybe a half a cup of slivered
almonds here. We’re going to mash these up.
Once these are good and mashed up, we can
add these to our dry ingredients, the rest
of them here. There we are.
Now we need a cup of heavy cream and four
eggs. We actually want two whole eggs and
just the yolks of the other two and then we’re
going to whisk these together, so there are
eggs in our cream. You want to get these whisked
really well.
Now that we’ve got these all mixed, put our
wet and dry ingredients together.
There we are.
Once these are well mixed, we need to get
our pudding cloth ready. Okay, now we’ve got
our cloth but instead of putting it in the
boiling water and then flouring it, this one
we want to seal a little tighter, so we’re
going to butter it first and then flour it.
Get it to smear all the way into our fabric
there. Now once it’s buttered, we can just
put our flour on just like before. Now we can take our buttered and floured cloth and put it in the bowl
and pour our pudding mix in.
There we are, and tie it up.
This is another pudding that you want to give
a little bit of room to grow. And there we
go, and it’s ready to go in. Let’s make sure
that water’s boiling.
Okay, this quaking pudding should take about
a half hour to cook.
Now that that quaking pudding is cooking,
we’re going to make a quick sauce with some
butter and some sugar.
When you use these pipkins, you want to make
sure that you don’t put them on direct heat
with flames. You want to use them only on
coals. You want to make sure that you always
have something in them or else they get too
hot and they’ll crack and use them gently
with gentle heat.
It’s been about a half hour for the quaking
pudding and about an hour for the apple one,
so both of those should be ready to come out.
Let’s cut open this apple pudding or apple
And there is our pudding. Let’s slice it and
see how it turned out.
Look at that.
You’d be amazed with nothing but a little bit of flour and one apple what you can turn out. It is really good.
So I haven’t found much about soldiers doing
boiled puddings yet, but there is a piece
in Joseph Plum Martin’s book about soldiers
coming and stealing a woman’s food, including
her pudding, bag and all.
Now for our quaking pudding. This one’s a
little bit more, you have to be more gentle
with it. Now let’s dress this up with a few
slivered almonds and then put sauce on top.
Wow, that’s delectable. You’ll love this wonderful quaking pudding. A lot more custardy than the other one.
It’s not nearly as bready and that butter and sugar on top with the almonds, it looks beautiful and it tastes good.
You’ve got no excuse. You really must try
one of these wonderful boiled puddings. Hey,
all the things you’ve seen here today, all
the cooking equipment, all the clothing, all
these things are available on our website,
they’re available in our print catalog and
don’t forget to follow us on Facebook.


  1. Interesting boost to both channels. Have Townsends and his daughter go to Audley End as their own descendants and do a period guestship with them. Have Mrs. Crocombe cross the pond and come as a great Aunt (or some other ancestor) in the Colonies and do a period piece here as well. Or is that too outlandish an idea…?

  2. Do you ever incorporate Eleanor and Graham Townsend's (May Peace be upon them) fiddle music in your productions? Love your shows and heritage cooking tips.

  3. Some nutmeg. Gets me every time! Nutmeg must have been the most ubiquitous spice of the day. Townsend puts it in EVERYTHING! Haha

  4. Thank you for not disappointing with click bait, I truthfully wanted to call you out on it, but I still and probably always will love your channel.

  5. Is the flower the old guy lived off the same as our flower? Probably not due to the way we treat wheat with pesticides. But i can eat pudding everyday, wish that would keep me strong.

  6. Too many interesting videos on this channel. It's giving me anxiety when I scroll to read the comments, but omw down, see all the related videos from him. I'm going to have to make a schedule so I won't feel like I'm going to miss something great.

  7. So comforting to hear the music in the background and crackling of the wood in the background. Townsend you magnificent bastard. <3

  8. How in the world did you keep that from sticking to your hands? Never tried cooking this in water but have done it with a little thicker paste cooked in hot ashes. Very good

  9. I would love to make something like the quaking pudding and use the lemon curd from season one as a sauce for it.

  10. We used to make apple ones in scouts. Though we cored the apples, mixed brown sugar, butter, and cinnamon and filled the void. Then capped the ends with raisins. Covered it in the dough and boiled them.

  11. When making the quaking pudding, would it be possible to melt the butter in order to spread it into the boiling cloth?

    (I'm disabled and have very limited arm strength – But I have a lot of interest in 18th Century cooking & reenactments. I try to watch your programs with an eye to finding ways/easier methods for accomplishing the same results – that would have still been possible to do in the kitchens of that time.)

  12. Well one of these days I'm going to try all these and then have to hire someone to wheel me around after 😂

  13. My husband: WHAT THE HELL IS THAT?!?!
    (Shocked look on his face. We both binge watch this show and coming to visit the shop on Friday)
    Me: Um….not sure but by god it looks like an angry puffer-fish quaking bread….
    H: Oh my god it does!!!!
    (We fall into a side splitting belly laugh)

  14. I just made the first dish in this video, the simple dough formed around an apple. It was very easy to make and I served it with vanilla ice cream and drizzled it with a quick sauce made of butter, maple syrup, cinnamon and, of course, nutmeg. I think this will be a fun dessert to serve to friends. Thanks for sharing the technique.

  15. If you're allergic to dairy like me, but like authenticity, you can take those ground almonds (like in the second pudding), wrap them in a small cloth, and steep them in hot water for 15 minutes, and use the resulting liquid in place of dairy. Save the steeped almonds for use in modern muffins or crackers. I did some research, and this was how almond milk was made by more well-to-do families in the 17th century as a dairy replacement during Lent. It could have carried over to the 18th century as well, or at least was possible to make. Families may have passed it down to their kids, though it seemingly vanished from 18th century cookbooks. Hope that helped somebody😊

  16. I do commercial HVAC.
    I work in the cold on roofs of strip shopping centers getting a retails stores heat working. By the end of the day, which is dark by the time I get home. I settle in, have a few drinks and turn this utube channel on and I relax,listening to the music,and watch Mr.Townsend do his thing.
    It puts me in a tranquel state of mind like no other . I sooooo much appreciate. My imagination runs wild . What people had to deal with way back then.
    We have it wayyyy too easy. We need to appreciate what we have but we ALL get lost in our daily lives and forget wherr he came from.
    Howard- from very Historical Falls Township,Lower Bucks Co.,Pa. ( Washingtons Crossing,Pa.)

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