Hard Times Pudding – A Frugal Dessert from the 1920s

By Andrea Sabean | Recipes

Sep 23

How to make pudding from scratch is something almost every cook knew how to whip up before convenience processed food and those little boxes of powdered stuff became known as pudding.

While many a cook today still knows, and does, make a cooked stove top pudding from scratch, not nearly as many people know how to make a traditional steamed pudding.

What do you make for dessert when your cupboards are almost bare?

Hard Times Pudding!

Disclosure: some of the below links are affiliate links. 

Resources: 

This one does not disappoint and the anyone else adore the name? Come on, I know I’m not the only one, and speaking of old-fashioned and Great Depression Era wisdom, recipes, and tutorials, my new book Hand Made: The Modern Guide to Made-from-Scratch Living is packed with them and so is all of the bonus items and 3 bonus teaching videos you get with it on how to make homemade doughnuts, sourdough starter and more, check it out here.

 

 

Instant pot-I am officially in love with my Instant Pot, like right up there with my Mason jars and Pressure Canner! If you don’t have an Instant Pot you can make this on the stove but seriously, the Instant Pot is amazing.

Allergen or Diet Adaptions:

This yummy old-fashioned dessert recipe is made without eggs and milk, and can be made with gluten-free flour.   This is a traditional steamed pudding that is easily steamed on the stove, or can be made even more quickly in the Instant Pot.   Made with molasses, warm spices, and raisins, it’s reminiscent of a lightly spiced gingerbread or spice cake, and is delicious served with fruit preserves and a dollop of whipped cream.

One of the things I love about these old recipes is the basic ingredients combined to make something delicious, no refined sugar, just molasses and spices

Hard Time Pudding (steamed pudding from scratch)

  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 1/2 cup cold water
  • 1/2 tablespoon melted butter or coconut oil
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp allspice
  • 1 heaping cup raisins

Grease a 3-cup glass bowl.

Combine molasses, water, and butter.

Mix flour with baking soda, cream of tartar, salt, and spices.  Add to molasses mixture with raisins and stir until combined.

Pour into greased bowl.

If steaming on the stove:

Cover bowl with a piece of parchment paper or muslin, then with a piece of tin foil, tied securely with string.

Use the steamer insert of a double broiler, a steamer basket, or place the bowl on a trivet in a pot of water.   Steam for 2 hours.  Remove the cover and run a knife around the top of the pudding to help it release from the sides of the bowl.  Invert over a plate.  Serve warm.

How to make pudding from scratch in the instant pot:

Pour 2 cups of water into the insert.  Place the trivet in the insert, and put the uncovered bowl on the trivet.

Turn on the sauté function, and cover the pot, leaving the seal open to venting.  Once the water starts to boil, steam the budding for 12 minutes.

After 12 minutes, cancel the sauté function, close the vent to sealing, and pressure cook for 20 minutes.   Allow the pressure to naturally release for 30 minutes.

If there are water droplets on the pudding when you remove it from the Instant Pot, gently dab with a paper towel or clean cloth.

Run a knife around the top edge to help the pudding release from the sides of the bowl before inverting on a plate.

Serve warm.

5.0 from 1 reviews
Hard Times Pudding - A Frugal Dessert from the 1920s
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • ½ cup molasses
  • ½ cup cold water
  • ½ tablespoon melted butter or coconut oil
  • 1 cup flour
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp cream of tartar
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp ginger
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp allspice
  • 1 heaping cup raisins
Instructions
  1. Grease a 3-cup glass bowl.
  2. Combine molasses, water, and butter.
  3. Mix flour with baking soda, cream of tartar, salt, and spices. Add to molasses mixture with raisins and stir until combined.
  4. Pour into greased bowl.
  5. If steaming on the stove:
  6. Cover bowl with a piece of parchment paper or muslin, then with a piece of tin foil, tied securely with string.
  7. Use the steamer insert of a double broiler, a steamer basket, or place the bowl on a trivet in a pot of water. Steam for 2 hours. Remove the cover and run a knife around the top of the pudding to help it release from the sides of the bowl. Invert over a plate. Serve warm.
  8. How to make pudding from scratch in the instant pot:
  9. Pour 2 cups of water into the insert. Place the trivet in the insert, and put the uncovered bowl on the trivet.
  10. Turn on the sauté function, and cover the pot, leaving the seal open to venting. Once the water starts to boil, steam the budding for 12 minutes.
  11. After 12 minutes, cancel the sauté function, close the vent to sealing, and pressure cook for 20 minutes. Allow the pressure to naturally release for 30 minutes.
  12. If there are water droplets on the pudding when you remove it from the Instant Pot, gently dab with a paper towel or clean cloth.
  13. Run a knife around the top edge to help the pudding release from the sides of the bowl before inverting on a plate.
  14. Serve warm.
 

About the Author

Andrea is an artisan and teacher trying to live a handmade and homemade lifestyle with her husband in Eastern Canada. She is passionate about growing her own food, cooking healthy meals, using herbs for healing, nurturing creativity, and finding joy and blessings in the every-day moments of life. She writes about all of this, plus her adventures in sewing, crafting, and pattern design at http://www.artisaninthewoods.com/

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