Amelia Simmons Pompkin Pudding No. 1
After I made the American Cookery Pompkin Pudding No. 2, I still had quite a bit of pumpkin puree and pie pastry left, so I decided to tackle the other pumpkin pudding recipe in the same book, called No. 1. The first pudding I made, which was No. 2, was sweetened with molasses, and while it tasted good to me, I understand that tastes differ and the pies were not just for me. These pies were to be taken to an event and used to feed approximately 45 people. This version of Simmon’s pudding is sweetened with sugar, which is much more acceptable to the modern palate.
The recipe as it appears in American Cookery, by Amelia Simmons:
No. 1 One quart stewed and strained, 3 pints milk, six beaten eggs, sugar, mace, nutmeg and ginger, laid into paste No. 7, or 3, cross and chequer it, and bake in dishes three quarters of an hour.1
As I mentioned before, these recipes make a lot of pie. I did not want so much so I scaled the recipe down to make one 9-inch pie while keeping the same ratio as Simmon’s recipe. The body of the recipe does not actually specify what the “one quart stewed and strained” is but it is implied that it is pumpkin. For clarification on the measurements I used, please see my previous post on Simmon’s pudding No. 2.
My redacted and scaled recipe:
Amelia Simmons Pompkin Pudding No. 1
6 1/2 fl oz pumpkin puree, fresh is best
10 fl oz whole milk
1 large egg
6 tablespoons pure cane sugar (white)
1/2 teaspoon ground mace
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
large pinch of nutmeg
Prepare your chosen pie pastry and line with it a 9-inch pie plate. Blind bake.
Pre-heat the oven to 350 F.
Place all the filling ingredients in a blender or food processor; blend until smooth. Strain the mixture into the blind-baked pie shell. Bake at 350 F for approximately 1 hour, or until the custard is set in the center.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before cutting.
Makes 1 pie
This pie turned out a beautiful yellow color, and tastes much more like modern pumpkin pies.
I wanted to point out that in the post about the Simmons Pompkin Pudding No. 2 I mentioned that there was an earlier mention of pumpkin pie in a cookbook (earlier than Simmon’s), dating from 1672. While that information is accurate, I found an even earlier mention of pumpkin pie in a 1658 book by an anonymous author. The book is titled The Compleat Cook, and the recipe is titled “To make a pumpion pye.” Much like Woolley’s recipe, it is for a pumpkin pie that also contains apples.
If we look at books in languages other than English, then we can find an even earlier reference to pumpkin pie in The French Cook, originally in French, by Francois de la Varenne.2 The book is now published as single tome that combines The French Cook, The French Pastry Chef, and The French Confectioner, and it’s titled La Varenne’s Cookery, although you can buy just The French Cook. La Varenne’s recipe looks much like our modern pumpkin pie, except it has no eggs and is thickened with ground almonds. The caveat with this recipe is that the English translation translates “tourte de citrouille” as “tourte of pumpkin” and “pumpkin” comes from the Old French “pompion,” which in turns comes from the Old Greek “pepon.” “Pepon” means melon, so la Varenne’s pie may not be pumpkin at all.3 That said, la Varenne actually used the word “citrouille,” which means pumpkin, at least today, so who knows what, if anything, got lost in translation.
At any rate, this was good pumpkin pie!
1. Amelia Simmons, American Cookery, (Albany: Charles R. & George Webster, 1796), 34. I substituted the long s’s in the text with regular s’s.
2. Terence Scully, La Varenne’s Cookery: The French Cook; The French Pastry Chef; The French Confectioner, Francois Pierre, Sieur de la Varenne, (Trobridge: The Cromwell Press, 2006), 317.
3. Food Timeline, http://foodtimeline.org/foodpies.html#pumpkinpie