Oh my goodness gracious. Why, oh why, oh why, did I not make this recipe before now. I’ve had the recipe for years. Eons. It was published in the Los Angeles Times Food Section (probably in the 1980’s). Each year back then, for several, the Times did a review of the previous years’ recipes and chose the top 10. So that meant they cooked and baked a whole lot of things in January and February, and narrowed it down to 10. I do believe that that particular year THIS recipe won top billing. So I always knew I’d get around to trying it eventually. What a mistake to have waited 20+ years!
So what kept me from making it? Probably because it’s kind of an innocuous recipe. An odd kind of pudding with jam in it, and a butterscotch sauce. I didn’t have a photograph of it, so didn’t really know what to expect. Fortunately I have a 12×7 inch Pyrex dish (exactly what’s called for here). Blackberry jam I didn’t have, so I sent my DH out to find some. He had some difficulty finding seedless (that was my decision to use seedless; the recipe doesn’t specify). He bought sugar-free, which was fine. The pudding was plenty sweet. And that meant my DH could have a normal serving of it. The sauce is VERY sweet, so don’t use much of it on the pudding/cake.
After doing some sleuthing on the internet I discovered that Woodford Pudding is a Southern dish. One website from Louisville, Kentucky had a 1903 version of the recipe in that typical spare teacup measuring recipe language used back then. Here’s what it said:
- Woodford Pudding – Take 3 eggs, 1 teacup of granulated sugar, ½ teacup of butter, ½ teacup of flour, 1 teacup jam or preserves, 3 teaspoons of sour milk, 1 teaspoon soda, cinnamon and nutmeg to taste. Mix well together, and stir in the beaten whites and the sour milk, with soda dissolved in it. Bake in pudding dish.
Isn’t that a hoot? I have a few recipes from my grandmother using those kinds of measurements. Have we come a long way, or what? I also learned at another website that one year when Queen Elizabeth and entourage visited the Kentucky Derby, the Derby’s Executive Chef prepared Woodford Pudding. His version contained some bourbon and was served with a bourbon sauce. So, you could probably adapt this to jam flavors of your choice, and include some other flavorings as well. I made it true to the recipes of bygone eras. Actually the history of this pudding is interesting too:
- The dessert received its name from Woodford County, Kentucky near Lexington. Bluegrass cooks have been making Woodford Pudding for [more than] . . . a century. The recipe first appeared in the publication Housekeeping in the Bluegrass in 1875. Woodford Pudding is a spongy pudding spiced with cinnamon and similar to an English jam pudding.
Ah, jam pudding. So its origin is probably English or Scottish (you know, there were a lot of Scots who emigrated to the Kentucky and Tennessee hills, way back when). So, back to the pudding. Is it a pudding, really? It’s hard to say. It bakes up more like a cake, but yet it’s very, VERY moist and soft. Spongy sort of. To me it’s more in-between a cake and pudding. The blackberry flavor shines through with every bite. If you make it ahead, just reheat it gently in the oven before serving, as it’s supposed to be served warm. The butterscotch sauce is just barely drizzled over it (don’t overpower it). My friend Cherrie brought some home made sour cream ice cream (recipe to come) which was a perfect foil to the sweet pudding and sauce. I didn’t begin to use up all the sauce, and I have no idea what I’ll do with the remainder. Any ideas? Well anyway, you’ve GOT to make this recipe. It’s simple, truly. Some recipes I read include 1/2 tsp. of nutmeg with the cinnamon, and another included ground cloves. Next time I make this I’ll add the nutmeg for sure. Whatever you do, you’ll be glad you did try it.
Woodford Pudding with Butterscotch Sauce
Recipe: From a Los Angeles Times article in the 1980’s.
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 cup sugar — [I used half Splenda]
3 large eggs — lightly beaten
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup sour milk — or buttermilk
1 cup seedless blackberry jam — [I used sugar-free]
1 1/2 cups dark brown sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup boiling water
1 dash salt
1/4 cup unsalted butter
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1. PUDDING: Cream butter with sugar until light. Add eggs and beat well. Sift flour with cinnamon. Dissolve soda in sour milk and mix with flour mixture. Beat into sugar/egg mixture. Blend in jam. Turn into greased 12×7 baking dish. Bake at 325 for 40-45 minutes. Cut in squares and serve warm with Butterscotch Sauce. And vanilla ice cream if you have it.
2. SAUCE: Mix brown sugar with flour in a heavy saucepan. Pour in boiling water and add salt. Cook and stir about 8 minutes. If mixture seems too thick, add a touch more boiling water. Remove from heat and stir in butter, cream and vanilla. Blend and keep warm until ready to serve. Makes about 2 cups.
Per Serving (assumes you eat all the sauce, which you definitely will not): 496 Calories; 17g Fat (29.5% calories from fat); 4g Protein; 86g Carbohydrate; 1g Dietary Fiber; 105mg Cholesterol; 216mg Sodium.
Two years ago: Cabbage Patch Stew (a real family favorite, in between a soup and a stew, made with ground beef or ground turkey)