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A recipe for Christmas Pudding from Jane Austen’s mother

I know it’s too late to even think about making a Christmas pudding, but  you can always put the recipe away for next year if you fancy a literary yuletide. I wondered about boiling the milk: is that usual or do you think it was a way of reducing the chance of infection?

Cassandra Leigh Austen often used to write up recipes in verse. She died  in 1827, aged 68, some ten years after her daughter.

If the Vicar you treat
You must give him to eat
A pudding to his affection,
And to make his repast
By the canon of taste
Be the present receipt in your direction.

First take two pounds of bread
Be the crumb only weigh’d
For the crust the good housewife refuses,
The proportions you’ll guess,
May be made more or less
To the size the family chuses.

Then its sweetness to make;
Some currants you take
And sugar, of each half a pound,
Be not butter forgot
And the quantity sought
Must the same as your currants be found.

Clove and Mace will you want
With Rose Water I grant,
And more savoury things if well chosen.
Then to bind each ingredient
You’ll find most expedient
Of eggs to put in half a dozen.

Some milk, don’t refuse it
But boil as you use it,
A proper hint for its maker.
And the whole when compleat
With care recommend the baker.

In praise of this pudding,
I vouch it a good one,
Or should you suspect a fond word,
To every guest,
Perhaps it is best
Two puddings should smoke on the board.

Two puddings! yet – no,
For if one will do
The other comes in out of season;
And these lines but obey,
Nor can anyone say
That this pudding’s without rhyme or reason!


For more information about Cassandra Austen visit Jane Austen’s World
I found this recipe on The History Press

5 comments on “A recipe for Christmas Pudding from Jane Austen’s mother

  1. Danny Kemp
    December 23, 2016

    Thank you for all your posts throughout the year, Bridget. They have been both informative and a joy to read.
    Have a Great Christmas and an equally productive 2017.

    • bridget whelan
      December 23, 2016

      Thank you Danny – what a wonderful thing to say. I really appreciate it. A very happy Christmas to you

  2. First Night Design
    December 24, 2016

    I’m sorry I’ve not been visiting much but I’m having more problems with my eyes. However, as a Leigh descendent, I couldn’t let this post go unliked! I shall have to squirrel it away to make next year. Merry Christmas to you and yours, Bridget!

    • bridget whelan
      December 24, 2016

      Sorry to hear about your eyes but very glad to have your kind comments. Happy Christmas to you and your loved ones…may next year be creative and interesting and un-newsworthy. No dramas or crises, after 2016 I sing the praises of the routine and the expected, the unsurprising and the downright dull…

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This entry was posted on December 22, 2016 by in Did you know... and tagged , , , .


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