I grew up in a state that didn’t even become a state until 1912. The history there tends to be of the native American or Mexican variety, and there aren’t any bars that can boast of hosting a founding father.
So it’s a little weird to me that I live just a few blocks away from a farmer’s market where George Washington sold his produce, that we live down the street from a house where he ate dinner at least seven times, and that I used to work in the Maryland State House, where Washington resigned his commission. Not to mention that I can see the Capitol and Washington monument when I run on the trail near our house or drive to work.
But it’s cool to have so much history around — the obvious and the not-so-obvious.
Anyway, when I saw this recipe in a collection of recipes from the presidents, I had to try it. I love cranberries, after all, and I feel like GW is everywhere.
I wasn’t really sure what to expect from this recipe, and the results were… different. It is definitely more like sticky toffee pudding than a Jell-O pudding cup, but that isn’t terribly surprising.
I thought the molasses was the most prominent flavor, with bursts of cranberry in every bite. But the key to the deliciousness is the sweet, buttery sauce you pour over the top. So unhealthy, but so good.
So, if you’re up for something different, give this a try. You can even make it in a rice cooker, if you have one. And, it’s wooden teeth approved.
George Washington’s cranberry pudding (Adapted from Capitol Hill Cooks. Serves 6 to 8)
1 1/2 cups cranberries (frozen is fine, just make sure you let them thaw first)
2 tablespoons sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup molasses
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/3 cup boiling water
1 1/2 cups flour (sift it if you have time)
Cut the cranberries in half.
Beat the eggs and stir in the sugar, salt and molasses. In a separate bowl, add the baking soda to the boiling water and mix. Add the boiling water mixture to the egg mixture. Stir in the sifted flour and cranberries.
Butter a rice cooker or heavy saucepan and add the pudding mixture. Steam or cook, covered, on low heat for 75-90 minutes. Serve warm with the magical sauce.
2 sticks (16 tablespoons) unsalted butter
2 cups sugar
1 cup half-and-half
Melt the butter in a small saucepan over low to medium-low heat, then add sugar and half-and-half. Cook on medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until sugar is dissolved. Spoon liberally over pudding to serve.