Sunday, January 6, 2013

6 Jan 2013 “A Boiled Custard Pudding You Can Make, Mrs. Beeton’s Book in Audio Form, and Life on the Wartime Farm”


custard1  I thought I would share with you today an easy little boiled custard I tried from Mrs. Beeton’s book. Though it is over 150 years old I wanted to show that sometimes old recipes are fun to try. And this one couldn’t be easier. Here is my prep: a mixing bowl a pint of milk four eggs one TBS flour and some cinnamon.

This is the original recipe here:

boiled custard pudding

custard2Here I have mixed it up and simply poured in into a buttered mixing bowl. I don’t have any stoneware custard/pudding basins, but it is now on my list. I could have also used my metal pudding tins I use at Christmas for my Christmas pudding. As they have a convenient lock top and interesting shapes as well.

custard3 When it was removed from the boiling water bath and the cheesecloth removed. I had that feeling of Jurassic Park, reanimating something that has not been seen for some time since the past. When you boil this just do as for steaming, enough boiling water in a kettle to maybe reach 1/4 to 1/2 way up the bowl. You don’t want water going over or into your cheese cloth. That is why the closed tin for puddings would be even more foolproof. But, I have cheesecloth in my kitchen supplies and it felt appropriately enough Victorian to my tastes.

Here is the little darling all emptied from her bowl.custard4

I wondered, when I tipped the bowl upside down, if I would just get a blobby mess, but no, there you go custard boiled! I have made custard many times the usual way with a double boiler and whisking and making sure of no curdling, but I must say it is so light and fluffy and really would be good served with a sauce poured on. It is a bit un-sweet to modern tastes, but some sugar and vanilla would fix that up a treat. And I really like it this way with strawberry jam. I think it might be fun to have at a tea or a brunch.  Look at those light and fluffy crevasses close up, Yum!


We Americans are fine when reading old cookery books for we have refused to let go of our Imperial measurement system, I cannot say why. We therefore often rely upon cups and teaspoons to hold the volume of our recipe ingredients and don’t use scales as often. Though I still sometimes use a scale I have to admit a pinch and a measuring cup are often my easy go-to tools in the kitchen. And I am forever whispering to myself when baking, “2 cups to a pint, 2 pints to a quart, 4 quarts to a gallon”. Here is a fun little image I made showing some of the conversions.


This is a helpful conversion as well:

1 cup flour = 150g flour
1 cup butter = 240g butter
1 cup brown sugar = 180g brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar = 200g granulated sugar
1 cup icing sugar = 100g icing sugar
1 cup uncooked rice = 190g rice
1 cup chopped nuts = 150g chopped nuts
1 cup fresh breadcrumbs = 150g fresh breadcrumbs
1 cup sultanas = 200g sultanas

HERE is the free download of Mrs. Beetons Book of Household Management. It will also be shelved in the Library under Domestic & the Home.

HERE you can find all of Mrs. Beeton’s book in audio. You can listen online or simply download and enjoy in the car or kitchen while preparing meals or having a tea break. It is a fun diversion and each chapter is read out by people of different countries and regions. It is a completely voluntary job and we must thank those who take the time to provide such content for us.

The free version of Mrs. Beeton unfortunately does not have the illustrations. However, one can find these and their chapters from the Preface to Chapter IV HERE. If anyone had original or older versions of this book, a scanner, some time and a good heart, you can log into this site and help the online world see more of Mrs. Beeton’s work fully illustrated. I love the shared aspect of the internet and hope as the future continues to hurl towards us we can keep the free equality of sharing and not be hampered by ownership laws too strict or unjust.

Now, speaking of recreating the past, the BBC have done some lovely historical re-creation shows. The latest is life on the War Time Farm chronicling a WWII era farm. The hosts are historians and scholars and have an actual interest in learning and appreciating the past. This is not the type of show where they take a modern city person and throw them into a situation for drama and TV affect. It is of actual historical interest and worth a look-see.

Here is the first episode and the rest can be found on my Channel under History Recreation Shows & Projects. Have a lovely day.


  1. I love that you uploaded Wartime Farm. I got their book for Christmas, but the DVD wasn't available. I'm already on Episode #5. Are you aware that Episode #6 isn't on your YouTube Channel?

  2. I discovered Wartime Farm on Youtube earlier this year and enjoyed it very much. This same group also did Victorian Farm, Edwardian Farm, and one called Tales From The Green Valley set in 1600's.

  3. I will look for ep 6. I know Betsy, I loved all of those, only they are no longer available on youtube?! They were there for so long and I enjoyed them so much. They are a great crew of people who are genuinely interested in recreating and celebrating the past. I hate the time travel shows where people 'cheat' and are in it to 'win it'. What is the point. If money were no object I would make my own cable station and have it be simply intellectual content. Detailed history shows that look at every fact and point and pull in all aspects of history from political to down what the kitchen maid was doing. It's funny we have SO many channels that are simply mindless pointless fun, why not even ONE channel dedicated to actual content. Back in the 1950's the major networks used to televise classical ballet and music all the time? They would stage theatre productions and many would gather and tune in. Now we have MORE devices upon which to watch increasingly vapid programming! C'est la vie!

    1. They keep getting taken down (copyright issues, I'm afraid) and people keep putting them back up again. I've found them on too but the quality isn't always as good.

  4. Hello! It's so nice to be visiting you again... my blog hiatus is over. And I think I'll enjoy a cup of coffee with some of my scones while I enjoy my visit here! I absolutely love the simple life of long ago... a quiet place to enjoy everything. Thank you for posting the conversion chart too as I've run across recipes in the past with similiar wording...Lurve~