Today you need to get rid of any preconceptions about “pudding”. The recipe for Lemon Pudding submitted by Miss K. Fisher for the 1906 Berlin Cook Book results in something a bit like lemon pie minus the crust. It is quick to make even if you opt for authenticity and use a whisk or hand beater for the meringue. It took less than 15 minutes to whip the egg white by hand as I chose to make half the recipe.
We sampled it as soon as it came out of the oven. One taster liked the mild lemon taste while two of us found it lacking in lemon. I’d try it again but replace some of the water with lemon juice. The mild 1906 version of the pudding was quite good paired with yesterday’s ginger cookies! I’ll taste the pudding again when it is cold to see if the temperature affects the intensity of the lemon flavour.
Lemons were available year round in Berlin Ontario in 1912 so this recipe could be made at any time of year. They were imported from a variety of countries and each season had its particular lemon. The pudding would be nice in the summer in 1912 or 2012 as it requires little cooking but is nice warm from the oven in the winter.
I suggest starting with separating the eggs, especially if your eggs are cold. Again I had to use large eggs. Egg whites however whip more easily if they are at room temperature. Grate the lemon rind and add to the beaten egg yolks. The rest of the lemon isn’t used. Mix the cornstarch and cold water in the saucepan and add hot water (not boiling as I did). Bring to boil and add the sugar. Quickly stir it in and add the egg yolk/lemon mixture. Take if off the stove and pour into a casserole dish or other baking dish. Whip the egg whites frothy and then sprinkle in the sugar and beat until stiff. Spread the meringue on top and pop in the oven. I had the oven at 350 degrees F. and it took about 15 minutes for the meringue to turn lightly brown.
2 1/2 cups sugar, 2 lemons, 2 eggs, 11 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch, 3 cups boiling water, 9 tablespoons cold water, grate the lemon rinds into a bowl add the egg yolks and mix well. Add lemon juice and mix well. Put the cornstarch and cold water into a saucepan and mix. Stir in the boiling water and cook, stirring constantly until it boils. Add 2 1/2 cups sugar and stir a moment, then stir in the egg mixture and take from fire. Pour into baking dish. Beat whites very frothy, add remaining 4 tablespoons sugar and beat perfectly stiff. Spread over pudding and baking in moderate oven till brown. Note. – Level measurements are used.