It IS Columbus Day, after all. And although there is Italian bisket to consider, and how or how not, it is different from Naples bisket…..
As I was looking at baked goods, and baked pudding in particular, I found not one, not two, but THREE Italian puddings.
- They are all baked (or bakte – say it as it is spelled….now you’re talking like Shakespeare!)
- They all have bread cut into a dice, like a die, the little thing you toss in games of chance.
- Two of the three are from the same author – John Murrell – in different cookbooks BUT they’re not exactly the same. No cut and paste from John Murrell. I thought there were three from John Murrell, but the New Book of Cookerie and Book 1 of Two Books of Cookerie and Carving are the same book. Three citations, two recipes.
All three, in chronological order:
To make an Italian Pudding
Take a Penny white Loafe, pare off the crust, and cut it in square pieces like unto great Dyes, mince a pound of Beefe Suite small: take halfe a pound of Razins of the Sunne, stone them and mingle them together with, and season them with Sugar, Rosewater, and Nutmegge, wet these things in foure Egges, and stirre them very tenderly for breaking the Bread: then put it into a Dish, and pricke three or foure pieces of Marrow, and some sliced Dates: put it into an Oven hot enough for a Chewet: if your Oven be too hot, it will burne: if too colde, it will be heavy: when it is bakte scrape on Sugar, and serve it hot at Dinner, but not at Supper.
1615. John Murrell. A Newe Booke of Cookerie. Falconwood Press: 1989. p. 22.
This is the one you’ve seen before here in If your Oven be too hot….(Sept 15, 2013)
And now John Murrell’s second Italian Pudding:
A bakte Pudding after the Italian fashion.
Pare off the crusts from a penny white loafe, cut it in square peeces like dice, put to it halfe a pounds of dubbing suet minct small, halfe a pound of Raisins of the Sunne, the stones taken out, two ounces of Suger, five or sixe sliced Dates, a graine of Muske, five or sixe lumps of Marrow : season these with Cloves, Mace, Nutmeg, and Salt, but a very little Salt is sufficient, beate a couple of Egges, with foure or five spoonefuls of Creame, power it upon your seasoned bread, and stirre very gentley for breaking, so as the peeces may be wet, but not so wet that you can see any moisture in them: lay a Pomewater in the bottome of the Dish, or some sort of soft Apple pared, and sliced thinne, put your Pudding also upon the Apple, and so set the Dish into an Oven, as hot as for Manchet, or small Pies, when you see it rise yellow take downe your Oven lidde to coole your Oven, it will be bakte in half an houre: if the Oven be too hot, it will be burnt, if it be too cold, it will be too heavy, when it is bakte draw it forth, and scrape on Sugar, and serve it hot to the Table.
- 1638. John Murrell. The Second Book of Cookerie. Fifth Impression. Stuart Press: 1993. p. 25.
Square pieces of bread – check. Dubbing suet?? – I’m coming up cold; Muske – this is taking it up a notch; Cream as well as eggs – makes this richer; taking down tour oven lidde to cool the oven – nice detail! This is how you control the heat in a woodfired oven. The same advice about too cold and too hot, making me think this is a real Goldilocks moment.
Once again, you are asked to stone the raisins. Thank you Sun Maid for drying seedless raisins, so we don’t have to do that anymore!
The third Italian Pudding comes from someone else, a little later…..
To make an Italian Pudding.
Take a manchet, and cut it into square pieces like a Die, then put to it half a pound of beef suet minced small, Raisins of the Sun the stones picked out, Cloves, Mace, minced, Dates, Sugar, Marrow, Rose-water, Eggs, and Cream, mingle all these together, and put them into a dish fir for your stuffe, in less then an hour it will be baked, then scrape on Sugar, and serve it.
- 1653. W.I. A True Gentlewomans Delight. Falconwood Press: 1991. p. 45.