This recipe is suitable for a sunny winter’s afternoon. I used Mrs. Julia Hagen’s recipe for Steam Pudding in the 1906 Berlin Cook Book.
I think Mrs. Julia Hagen should be Mrs. Julius Hagen. I can’t find a Julia Hagen in Ontario in the 1901 census but Julius Hagen lives in Berlin with his 33-year-old wife Louisa Caroline (nee Stuckhardt) and their four sons age 10, 8, 4 and 3. By 1911, only the three oldest boys are listed in the census with Louisa and Julius. I wonder what has happened to the youngest? They live on St. George street and Julius is a cutter in the William, Greene and Rome shirt factory. The oldest boy (age 20) is also a cutter in the same factory. The next boy (age 18) is a bookkeeper for the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR). The 14-year-old son is a workman in the same factory as his father and oldest brother. The 1911 census includes insurance information and every member of the family has insurance. I rarely see wives insured but Louisa’s life is insured for the same amount as her sons despite not being a wage earner. Louisa’s younger sister Emma (Stuckhardt) Sengbusch has also contributed recipes to the cookbook. Both families are Lutherans and list their heritage as German.
I added the molasses, suet and milk to a bowl. I made the milk sour by adding a teaspoon of vinegar. I mixed the dry ingredients and the currants and raisins and added them to the wet ingredients. This pudding mixes quickly. I spooned this thick batter into a greased pudding mold. I steamed it for the required 2 hours. I added some more water after an hour.
The pudding was easy to unmold and looked very nice. I’m assuming Mrs. Hagen served the pudding with a sauce but I tasted it plain. It is a basic pudding with a subtle ginger flavour. I think it suits the Hagen family and might be an ordinary dessert. On a cold winter day, Louisa could have the pudding steaming away on the back of the stove while the meat roasted in the oven. The pudding would be done when the family had finished eating the main course.
There’s nothing wrong with Mrs. Hagen’s Steam Pudding but it is very similar to others. I’m not sure I would make it again but it is a good pudding for anyone learning to make them.
1 cup molasses, 1 cup suet, 3 cups flour, 1 cup sour milk, 1 teaspoon soda, 2 teaspoons cream of tartar, 21 teaspoon ginger, 1 cup each of currants and raisins. Steam 2 hours.