Old-fashioned Date Pudding

Date Pudding

I recently came across a cookbook published in 1923 called The Calorie Cook Book. In the Introduction it says:

This book has been made for the use of those people who wish to eat properly and really don’t know how. . .

We Americans have bolted and stuffed rich food for so long that it is amazing how very few of us know how to stop or what to do, when the family physician, treacherously upheld by our own inner selves, demands a change in the catch-as-catch-can style of eating we have so long enjoyed.

Based on the title and the book’s introduction, I assumed that the recipes would be for healthy low-calorie foods. But the first page I flipped to proved that my assumption was wrong:

Date Pudding Recipe
Source: The Calorie Book (1923) by Mary Dickerson Donahey

The recipe for Date Pudding said it was delicious, but that reducers should be beware. The recipe was not for them. I was intrigued. The author must think that a recipe is really good when deciding to put a high-calorie recipe in a low-calorie cookbook. So, before I knew it, I decided to ignore the warning and make Date Pudding.

The Date Pudding was delightful. Beaten egg whites gave the pudding a nice texture, and the dates and walnuts blended nicely for just the right balance of sweetness and crunchiness. I served the Date Pudding with whipped cream, which made it even more delicious and decadent.

This recipe called for “English walnuts” to distinguish them from “black walnuts.” Today, English walnuts are generally just called walnuts.

Here’s the recipe updated for modern cooks:

Date Pudding

  • Servings: 6 - 8
  • Difficulty: moderate
  • Print

2 eggs, separated

1 cup walnuts, chopped

1 cup dates, chopped

1 cup sugar

2 tablespoons flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 cups milk

whipped cream, optional

Preheat oven to 350° F. Put egg whites in a mixing bowl; beat until soft peaks form. Set aside.

Put sugar, flour, baking powder, vanilla, egg yolks, and milk in a mixing bowl; beat until smooth. Fold in the beaten egg whites, and then gently stir in the chopped dates and walnuts. Put the mixture in an 8″ X 8″ square baking dish. Put in oven and bake until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean (approximately 50 minutes – 1 hour). Remove from oven. May be served warm or cold. If desired serve with whipped cream.


9 thoughts on “Old-fashioned Date Pudding

    1. It’s tasty. I think that it is called The Calorie Cook Book because it gives the number of calories for each recipe (not for each serving – that concept doesn’t seem to have existed a hundred years ago).

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