I’m back home and discovered I have some bananas to use up soon so I’m making Banana Pudding. Mrs. Jacob Hespeler’s contributed the recipe for the 1906 Berlin Cook Book.
I measured the butter, weighed the sugar, and separated the eggs. Butter the size of an egg is about a tablespoon and 1/4 ounces of sugar is 4 ounces which equals 3/4 cup. I creamed the butter and sugar and then added the three egg yolks. Next I weighed the bread crumbs and found two ounces equals 1/2 cup. I wasn’t sure how much corn flour (also known as cornstarch) I needed. The recipe simply says 2. Is it two ounces, two tablespoons or teaspoons. I decided that since the bread was measured in ounces that perhaps the cornstarch was too. I added the milk (1/2 gill = 4 tablespoons). I beat the egg whites and added them to the batter. The final step was to add the bananas. I peeled two bananas and sliced them and folded into the mixture. I greased my large pudding mold before spooning in the banana pudding and steaming it for 1 1/2 hours. Once done I unmolded the pudding and sampled.
Sophia Josephine Taylor married Jacob Hespeler some time before 1881. Sophia was born in Ireland 1854 and Jacob just the year earlier in Preston (now Cambridge) Ontario. Jacob was a bank manager. The 1901 census shows the couple, their two daughters (Laura 17 and Ethel E. 16) and Sophia’s mother Jane living in one household in Waterloo. According to Waterloo Generations they also had a son named Percival. By the 1911 census, the older daughter is gone and they’ve added a 17 year old domestic servant named Lucy Mattewson to their home on William Street (a street I lived on in the early 1980s). Sophia died in 1927 in Toronto and it looks like Jacob died one month earlier. Oddly enough his own parents also died just a few months apart from each other back in 1881.
This pudding is interesting. It makes a small amount, probably an amount that suited the Hespeler family of 4 or 5 adults. I didn’t particularly like the pudding and I’m not sure why … texture? taste? The texture isn’t nearly as dry or bland as the other bread crumb based puddings. It is a bit spongy. The taste is sweet and definitely banana flavoured and as usual I can taste the eggs but most people won’t notice it. I think this pudding will appeal to people who love bananas and those who have some food restrictions. The banana slices kind of clumped together which is a negative but this could probably be overcome by coating the banana slices with crumbs first.
Ms. Jacob Hespeler
2 bananas, 3 eggs, 2 of corn flour, 1/4 oz. sugar, 1/2 gill milk or cream, 2 oz. soft brown bread crumbs, butter size of an egg, cream, butter and sugar, work in yolks of eggs, add corn flour and bread crumbs, now stir in milk, beat whites of eggs to stiff froth, peel bananas cut in slices, and stir gently into mixture. Steam one and a half hours in large or small buttered moulds. Serve hot with sauce or whipped cream.