To Boil a Pudding.
A pudding which is to be boiled should be placed in a saucepan of boiling water. The water must boil all the time the pudding is cooking, and the pudding must be under water the whole time. If these directions are not attended to, the water will soak into the pudding and spoil it. A kettle of boiling water should be at hand to fill up the saucepan as may be necessary. A bi=oiled pudding may be cooked in a basin or mould, or in a scalded and floured cloth. There is no doubt that many puddings are much lighter when boiled in a cloth. When basins or moulds are used they must be thoroughly greased to prevent the pudding sticking to them, and a scalded and floured cloth must be tied over them. Fill the pudding-basin quite full, If this is not done the water will soak into the pudding. Scalding and flouring the cloth prevents it sticking to the pudding; and the flour also forms a paste which helps to prevent the water getting into the mixture. When a cloth only is used, it must be scalded and floured; the pudding mixture formed into a nice round shape and placed in the center of the cloth, which then must be tied securely, leaving room for the pudding to swell. It is advisable when a pudding is cooked in this way to put a plate at the bottom of the saucepan to prevent the pudding sticking there and burning. The pudding-cloths should be quickly washed after using, in hot water without soap, and hung in the air to dry. Keep them in a dry place. Badly washed cloths, or those that have been allowed to get damp, will give an unpleasant flavor to the puddings.
To Steam A Pudding.
When a pudding is steamed it must be laced in a well-greased mould or basin, and covered with buttered paper. If a steamer is not available for the purpose, put the pudding into a stewpan with just sufficient water to come half-way up the mould, and keep the at a simmering point until the pudding is cooked. A custard pudding, or any pudding containing custard, must be very carefully steamed, as extreme heat would curdle the eggs and make the custard water.
To Bake a Pudding.
Mild puddings required a moderate oven, otherwise both the eggs and milk in them will curdle, the milk also will scorch. Any pudding of the nature of a souffle will require a quick heat to throw it up. A batter pudding must also be baked in a hot oven, or it will not be light. Custard puddings and all those containing custard must be very slowly cooked. The best way of cooking either large or small custards it to put them in a Yorkshire pudding tin which contains sufficient hot water to come half-way up the dish or moulds. If they are placed thus in a slow oven, they will cook without curdling.
Source: Guide to Modern Cookery, Mary Harrison, 1912.