Day 150 Snow Pudding

I decided to try another of the Snow Pudding recipes in the 1906 Berlin Cook Book. This one was contributed by Mrs. A. Merner and uses cornstarch rather than gelatine as the thickener. I was also curious to see if this was anything like the blancmange from yesterday.

Note that this dessert includes raw egg whites something that didn’t worry people in 1912. Food worries in the early twentieth century existed but they tended to be about the processing of ingredients. Food adulteration laws had been developed due to the addition of various things to many different products. For example, at one time various powders were added to flour to increase its weight and therefore the revenue generated for the seller. This could become extreme if things were added at every stage from the miller to the distributor to the grocer. It could become dangerous if the additive was unhealthy. I was at Doon Heritage Village today in the Dry Goods and Grocery Store where I worked many years ago. It brought back memories of the fascinating world of turn of the century merchandizing. The marketing for certain early brand names stressed the quality of their product and ensured the buyer that the food was unadulterated. Instead of buying in bulk grocers were encouraged to stock the brands packaged at the company’s own factories. Many brands we know today got their start during the late 19th and early 20th century.

I mixed the cornstarch and sugar together and then added the water. I kept the heat on medium to prevent burning. I wasn’t sure how long it needed to boil. I decided to simply bring it to the boil and then remove to cool. I then separated the eggs. I started the sauce next by mixing the milk and egg yolks in a saucepan and turning the heat low. Next I beat the egg whites and added them to the cooled pudding.

The wives of Merner men are found all over this cook book. Mrs. H. Merner and Mrs. A. W. Merner plus Mrs. Simpson Merner and Mrs. Ed Merner both of New Hamburg also contributed recipes to the cook book. It is difficult to determine the identity of Mrs. A. Merner as there are a few possibilities. If Mrs. A. Merner is the same as Mrs. A. W. Merner then likely Ludwina Margaret Zimmerman, wife of Alexander Walter Merner submitted this recipe. However, if this is a completely different Merner wife then it could be Susanna Schaefer wife of Absolom Merner or perhaps it is Sophia Barbara Ernst wife of Ammon Merner.

I preferred Miss Strickland’s Snow Pudding. It was gelatine based and flavoured with lemon. Mrs. Merner’s Snow Pudding is a completely different taste and texture. The pudding itself is very sweet. It is a pretty basic cornstarch pudding but the addition of the egg whites changes the texture a little and certainly makes it look a bit different. It becomes more opaque and bubbly looking.  The sauce tastes a bit like custard but it didn’t thicken. Both the snow pudding and the sauce have to be cold or it simply mixes together when some sauce is poured on a serving of pudding.

After I made Hattie Strickland’s snow pudding a few weeks ago, friends started reminiscing about their grandmother’s or great aunt’s snow pudding. Several mentioned it being served with a sauce. I’m hoping everyone who remembers snow pudding will let me know if this sauce sounds familiar, and which pudding is closer to their family recipes.

1 cup white sugar, 1 1/2 cups of water, 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch, then boil and after it is cool stir in the beaten whites of 2 eggs. A very fine sauce for this pudding is made of 1 1/2 cups of milk, yolks of 2 eggs, put on the stove to simmer, and flavor with vanilla or others to suit.

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