Hasty Pudding

From at least the 16th century there have been a plethora of May Day festivals that have sprung up all around Britain. Many of them had their own traditional dishes but it seems that they were predominantly based on variations of milky puddings. Hasty pudding is a British dish with ingredients that vary according to the region and can be based on flour, oatmeal, semolina or tapioca, cooked in boiling milk or water until it reaches the consistency of a thick batter. Richer and tastier versions included butter and eggs and were baked after the boiling stage. It gets it’s name from being a dish that can be put together in haste.

It appears that Hasty pudding made it’s way across the Atlantic to Colonial America. Here cornmeal was cheaper and more readily available, so their Hasty Pudding was made with a cornmeal porridge, molasses, honey, brown sugar or maple syrup and milk. It even gets a mention in the American song Yankee Doodle:

Fath'r and I went down to camp
Along with Captain Goodin',
And there we saw the men and boys
As thick as hasty puddin'

Ingredients - makes 12

1 pint (600ml) milk 3 eggs
2oz (50g) plain flour Few drops of vanilla extract
1oz (25g) butter 1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons sugar  


  1. Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4.
  2. Put the flour into a basin and add enough of the milk to form a paste.
  3. Place the rest of the milk in a saucepan and bring to the boil.
  4. Pour the hot milk over the milk-and-flour paste, stirring constantly.
  5. Pour the mixture back into the saucepan and bring back to the boil, then simmer for 2 minutes until you have a thick smooth sauce.
  6. Remove from the heat and stir in the butter and sugar then leave to cool.
  7. Stir in the eggs, vanilla and cinnamon.
  8. Pour into a well buttered pie dish and bake for 30 mins.
  9. This should be served hot and traditionally with treacle, but jam preserves, honey or cream are a great alternative.

Sorry! This month (May) seems to revolve around puddings. My Official Taster thinks he’s in heaven!