I cam across these recipes in another little cookery book which would have cost 3d in old money; I successfully made my old-fashioned trifle with all the necessary ingredients, sponge cake, fruit, jelly, custard and cream, and was looking through a few recipes when I came across ‘quick puddings’.
It occurred to me that growing up we always had a pudding after our main meal, always, even if it was only some stewed fruit, or some jelly, served with custard or a tin of evaporated milk. If I went to any friend’s house it was the same, always a pudding after a meal. These days the only time we have pudding (apart from Christmas pudding) is when friends come for a meal, and then I would make something but I would also always offer cheese and biscuits because many people no longer have a taste for sweet things.
Things I can remember from my childhood include actual puddings – treacle pudding, jam pudding, chocolate pudding for example, fruit pies or tarts, lemon meringue pie, jelly with or without fruit, and sometimes made with evaporated milk and whipped up to make what we called fluff, rice pudding, semolina… perhaps I should write a book about retro desserts!
The ‘five quick puddings’ in my little book all have the same basic ingredients, sponge, butter, two eggs, ‘a good pinch of salt’; one of them is just cooked like that, the other four have stewed fruit such as gooseberries or raspberries, marmalade, raspberry jam or currants or sultanas which have been soaked overnight.
The illustration for the quick pudding shows it served in a glass dish; I should think almost every kitchen throughout the land had a dish like that, and several others of different sizes!