Church cooks share long ago cooked pudding recipes

Colleen Kottke
Wisconsin State Farmer
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National Chocolate Mousse Day, children will learn how to make chocolate mouse, 4 to 5 p.m. April 3. (609) 567-2900. Hammonton Family Success Center, 310 Bellevue Ave., Hammonton.
chocolate pudding in a glass bowl on a grey wooden table

While poking through an antique shop I came across an old cookbook "Our Favorite Recipes" compiled by the ladies of St. John's Ev. Lutheran Church. The book which was put together by St. John's Guild in West Bend, Wis. was originally published in 1949.

The book is filled with handwritten recipes from the ladies of the church, and illustrated with quaint pictures. Now in its fifteenth printing (as of 1971) the book at the time had sold 91,000 copies which is phenomenal for a church cookbook.

Unlike modern recipe books that contain clear step-by-step directions, recipes in this book are a bit more tricky. At times baking pan sizes are left up to the discretion of the cook, and knowledge of cooking and baking processes are assumed by the recipe author.

This week's collection features several different types of puddings, with many of them being steamed. If you are unsure of the process, never fear. The internet is filled with instructions on how to accomplish this and many different methods of steaming pudding using the oven, a steamer, slow cooker or instapot. Good luck!

Graham Date Pudding

Courtesy of Mrs. Arnold Nimmer

¾ c. shortening (not butter)

1 c. sugar

2 beaten eggs

¾ c. milk

25 graham crackers (rolled fine)

1 ½ t. baking powder

1 c. chopped dates

½ c. nut meats

Vanilla Sauce

½ c. butter

½ c. cream

1 c. sugar

1 t. vanilla

Cream shortening and sugar. Add eggs. Add the milk and graham crackers alternately. Add baking powder and beat hard. Add dates and nuts last. Bake in a buttered 8x8-inch pan at 350º for 50 minutes. Serve either warm or cold with vanilla sauce. To make vanilla sauce, combine butter, cream and sugar and heat to boiling. Remove from heat and add vanilla.

Cranberry Pudding

Courtesy of Cloris Sager

1 egg

1 T. sugar

¼ c. corn syrup

¼ c. molasses

⅓ c. hot water

1 t. baking soda

½ t. salt

1 ½ c. flour

1 c. cranberries, chopped

½ c. nut meats, chopped

Vanilla sauce 

½ c. butter

½ c. cream

1 c. sugar

1 t. vanilla

Beat egg well and adding sugar, corn syrup, molasses, hot water with baking soda added, salt, flour, cranberries and nut meats. Mix well and pour into a greased mold. Steam 1 ½ hours in steamer or place mold on trivet or wire rack in bottom of deep kettle. Pour in boiling water to half the depth of the mold, replenishing the water if necessary with more boiling water to keep original level. Serve hot with vanilla sauce that has been cooked in a double boiler.

Cherry Pudding

Courtesy of Florence Klumb

2 c. drained cherries

1 ½ c. flour plus 2 T.

¼ c. sugar

pinch of salt

¼ c. molasses

2 t. baking soda dissolved in ⅓ c. hot water

Combine and put into well buttered pan. Put in steamer and steam for 1 hour. Be sure water is boiling in the bottom of pan. Do not disturb the first half hour. Serve with sauce created with 1 c. sugar, ½ c. butter and ½ c. sour cream cooked in a double boiler. Serve hot.

Peach Pudding

Courtesy of Mrs. Ernest Bunke


½ lb. graham crackers

½ c. sugar

1 c. butter


3 eggs, separate yolks from whites

2 ½ c. milk

2 T. cornstarch

½ c. sugar

1 ½ c. sliced peaches

Roll graham crackers fine. Add sugar and melted butter, mixing well. Line 8x10-inch pan with crust mixture. Heat milk. Add ½ c. sugar and stir. Add cornstarch dissolved in cold milk. Cook slowly until thick. Add well beaten egg yolks and cook slowly for 5 minutes. Cool. Pour into crust and add peaches. Beat egg whites until stiff. Add 4 T. sugar. Spread over custard. Bake 30 minutes in 300º oven.

Rhubarb     A cup of cooked rhubarb contains 350 mg of calcium and also provides vitamins A and C. Although rhubarb contains oxalic acid, which can prevent the absorption of calcium, cooking the rhubarb breaks down the oxalic acid, so be sure to eat rhubarb cooked. It's great in pies and jams, mixed with berries or other fruits.    ALSO READ: 50 Dangerous Conditions Testing Your Blood Can Help Detect

Rhubarb Bread Pudding

Courtesy of Mrs. E. Strack

2 c. diced rhubarb

¾ c. sugar

2 c. soft bread crumbs

1 T. grated lemon rind

1 ½ T. lemon juice

1 c. milk

1 egg, beaten

2 T. butter

Add sugar, bread crumbs, lemon rind and juice to rhubarb. Blend egg with milk and stir into rhubarb mixture. Place in buttered casserole dish and dot with butter. Cover and bake 1 hour at 375º.

Luisa Bakery & Cafe pastry Chef Avi Mallul makes a lemon curd to fill the sufganiyot, doughnuts, eaten during Hanukkah.

Lemon Pudding

Courtesy of Mrs. Maynard Schoenbeck

3 T. flour

3 T. butter

1 c. sugar

2 egg yolks, beaten

1 c. milk

juice of 1 lemon

Rind of 1 lemon, grated

2 egg whites

Combine flour, butter and ¾ c. sugar. Add egg yolks, milk, lemon juice and rind. Beat well. Add remaining sugar to stiffly beaten egg whites, fold into first mixture. Pour into buttered baking dish, place in pan of hot water. Bake in a moderate oven (350º) for 1 hour. Chill. Top with whipped cream. Serves 6 to 8.

Baked Fudge Pudding

Courtesy of Mrs. Roland Landdeck

1 c. flour

¼ t. salt

¾ c. sugar

2 T. cocoa

2 t. baking powder

½ c. milk

2 T. melted butter or vegetable shortening

1 c. nuts, chopped

1 ¼ c. hot water

1 t. vanilla


½ c. brown sugar

½ c. sugar

¼ c. cocoa

Sift dry ingredients together into a Pyrex baking dish. Add milk, melted butter and nuts. Stir until blended. Stir together topping ingredients - brown sugar, sugar and cocoa and sprinkle over batter. Pour hot water and vanilla over all and bake at 350º for 40-45 minutes. Serve warm or cold. Serves 6.

Suet Pudding

Courtesy of Mrs. E, Brandt

½ c. suet, chopped fine

1 ½ c. flour

½ t. baking soda

¼ c. salt

½ c. raisins

½ c. chopped nuts

⅛ t. each of cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg

½ c. milk

½ c. molasses


½ c. cream

1 c. sugar

½ c. butter

1 t. vanilla (or 1 T.  brandy if desired)

Mix together suet with flour which has already been combined with baking soda and salt and sifted. Add raisins, nuts and spices. Then stir in milk and molasses. Turn into well-greased mold and steam 1 ½ hours. This recipe may be doubled and steamed 2 ½ to 3 hours. Serve with sauce that has been cooked in a double boiler.