WW1: Bread and Jam Pudding
This was written in 1915 before rationing became official in 1917. However, using up the scraps was very much part of life, with the price of food having risen, and submarine warfare reducing the amount of produce successfully arriving on our shores from Canada and America. If I had to have this every week, or even every day, I would be quite happy (maybe not my waistline though!).
‘It was calculated that about 9380 tons of bread were wasted each week in Great Britain, a statement which when made at food meetings caused a gasp of surprise and a murmur of “I’m sure we don’t waste bread in our house.” It was always in the houses of other people that waste took place.’
(Mrs C.S. Peel, How We Lived Then 1914-1918, 1929)
Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall springs to mind when it comes to saving bread. It is so often that many of us find stale bread in the bread bin and if we do not have chickens to throw it to, ducks on a pond nearby, or space in the freezer, it may end in the bin. However, here we are reminded of the answer by Granny Dot in the form of bread puddings:
‘Manage as carefully as one will it is difficult to prevent pieces of bread from accumulating in the bread-pan. These pieces, however, must be cherished, for they are the foundation of many excellent puddings…
Bread and Jam Pudding. – Soak as before, flavour with grated lemon peel. Part fill a greased pie dish. Bake for a few minutes, cover with jam, and a layer of fine crumbs, and bake until brown and crisp.’
(Learning to Cook, 1915, Mrs C.S. Peel)
Serves – who knows? – maybe 1 if you are watching telly by yourself, and maybe 4 if it follows a filling meal!
85g bread pieces, broken up (easier if stale)
150mls whole milk
Finely grated zest of a medium unwaxed lemon
1 tsp castor sugar
2 tbsp jam
1. Butter a pie dish – I used a round dish measuring about 12cm in diameter.
2. Soak the bread in the milk and when it has been absorbed, add the lemon and the sugar and mix in. This will satisfactorily break up the bread.
3. Bake it in the oven at 200 degrees C for 8 -10 minutes. .
4. Remove it from the oven and dollop some jam on top, spreading a little, but don’t worry about this too much, just dot it around.
5. Sprinkle with 3 tbsp breadcrumbs (I keep a bag in the freezer and use them directly from it).
6. Return the dish to the oven for ten minutes.
7. Just to be really naughty, add cream. YUUUUUUUUUUUUMMMMMMMM!
8. Serve straight away.