22 March 2010

French Canadian Pouding Chomeur for a Taste of Spring

French Canadian Pouding Chomeur
Spring has definitely sprung and with it we shed our winter coats, our hearts seem lighter and our smiles more ready!!!!! The buds are on the trees and tulips and daffodils have just started to blossom. Spring is here and with its arrival, an array of new taste sensations and ingredients. 

 For people from the provinces of Ontario and Quebec Spring is not Spring without a trip to a sugar shack, or "sucrerie." It's a centuries-old tradition when tapping the maples, collecting sap, hewing the wood to fire up the cauldrons and boiling down the syrup required every family member to be involved.  Flash forward to the 1960s when this tradition of necessity turned into a fun outing to buy the year's supply of syrup, and to indulge, just once a year in a real belly-buster of a meal... pea soup, baked beans, meatballs, thick omelettes, tourtiere, ham, sausages, pickles, pancakes, and sugar pie. I remember being at the "sucerie" and the owners would throw hot boiling syrup on the snow to make a special kind of "taffy". Of course by the time I took my own daughter to the sugar bush they were charging for this special treat but it was still just as special.
Pouding chômeur (literally pudding of the unemployed,  poor man's pudding or Welfare Pudding) is a dessert of Quebec origin that uses Spring maple syrup as a key ingredient. It is easy and quick to prepare which makes this the perfect dessert for this time of year. It was created by female factory workers in 1929 during the Great Depression. It consists of a mix of flour, water, brown sugar, and other inexpensive ingredients that were common during the era. When money was tight, mom’s and grandma’s used to whip up this dessert  inexpensively and easily because maple syrup was cheaper and more plentiful than sugar (back in the day). As you know maple syrup is like liquid gold these days.

 Of course, the recipe has changed over the years, and has been adapted by a multitude of home cooks, but it still excellent! This is my version. Of course like many classic recipes there are as many adaptations as there are cooks. Some of the other recipes for this traditional dessert I have seen require creaming butter and adding cream which makes them a little more time consuming to prepare. This particular recipe is all about quick and "easy peasy" but the texture of the cake is somewhere between a sponge cake and a biscuit.

When I was a little girl my mom used to make a "self saucing" pudding whenever she had a craving for something sweet. As a child it seemed magical, for even though you mix the ingredients together as you would any cake batter, the batter would separate into two layers as it bakes. The top layer becomes a light and airy sponge 'cake' and underneath is a deliciously sweet 'sauce'.

My preference is to bake this dessert in individual ramekins so when your guests dip their spoons into the pudding they will be pleasantly surprised to find not only cake on their spoons but also a yummy maple flavoured sauce. I sometimes dust the tops of the puddings with confectioners (icing or powdered sugar) along with a dollop of softly whipped cream and maybe some fresh fruit. I think it's nice served with thick Greek yogurt or creme fraiche, which is really refreshing and helps to cut the sweetness.

**French Canadian Pouding Chômeur**


1 cup flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup butter, melted


1 cup water
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 teaspoon cornstarch

Whisk together the flour, sugar, nutmeg and baking powder. In a separate bowl, whisk together the cooled melted butter and milk. Pour the wet mixture over the dry ingredients and gently fold in until combined. Spoon the mixture onto the bottom of a baking dish or divide between 8 ramekins.

Whisk together the water, maple syrup, brown sugar, butter and cornstarch; pour it over the batter. (If you're making individual ones it will seem like a lot of liquid for each little ramekin, but it quickly sinks to the bottom and the containers won't overflow.) Place the baking dish(es) onto a cookie sheet to catch any drips, and bake in a 375F oven until the tops are golden and just firm to the touch - about 15 minutes for ramekins and 40 minutes for one large pudding.

Serves 4

You may also enjoy these other maple syrup recipes....

French Toast with Caramelized Bananas and Walnuts
Maple Glazed Peameal Bacon with Potato Latkes
Blueberry Maple Scones
Barbecued Maple Glazed Salmon Kebabs
True Canadian Salad from the Great White North
Pumpkin Spice Muffins with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting
Maple Butter Tarts

You are reading this post on More Than Burnt Toast at http://morethanburnttoast.blogspot.com. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author/owner of More Than Burnt Toast. All rights reserved by Valerie Harrison. Best Blogger Tips


  1. I love anything with maple syrup so this pudding is calling my name !

  2. That does look really delicious, never heard of a pudding chomeur though, nor familiar with cuisine from Quebec, looks delightful though!

  3. Hey Valli, this sounds really delicious. I've never heard of this. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe and the history of it as well.

  4. I loved reading about the history of this dessert. It's so amazing how just a handful of ingredients can create such a fantastic treat!

    Happy Spring!

  5. Now I know where the word pudding comes from and that is what we fondly call dessert here in SA. Looks marvelous Val! I am glad Spring is finally there!!!

  6. What a beautiful post! I love family food traditions, and I'm starting to think which ones I want to pass on or start with my family. Also looks like a great recipe. Thank you!

  7. What a lovely tradition! So so nice to hear about sweet Canadian stories :D.
    A great dessert to celebrate that brightness is back!!! How I missed Spring this year :D

  8. Yes, spring is in the air! At last! And it's strange that this year the timing is the same in Canada and in Spain... I love maple syrup, in spite of not being a local produce ;). I've got to try this!

  9. A devilishly scrumptuous pudding! I love maple syrup!



  10. welfare pudding, eh? how apt. based on the ingredients and your image and description, though, i think this would satisfy even the most refined palate. :)

  11. A simple recipe and an outcome that is so much more than the sum of its parts. Pity maple syrup is nowhere as cheap as it used to be. Thanks for sharing the recipe and the history behind it :)

  12. I love the story behind this yummy dessert. I can just imagine how this must taste with its maple goodness at the bottom of the dish. Spring has sprung here too.

  13. Growing up in Ontario all we ever used was pure Maple Syrup. This would have been a perfect way to use it too! Just beautiful!

  14. This is such a fabulous recipe! I love maple syrup and have come to love self-saucing pudding cakes like this. Just stunning!

  15. Yes, I am so glad spring is here. This is scrumptious! Thanks for sharing the family traditions of maple syrup. I love maple syrup :)

  16. This sounds amazing! I love this dessert, and since as you know I am moving to maple country, this is a great dessert to celebrate!

  17. What a wonderful dessert to whip-up and have such impressive results.

  18. I haven't had this before - looks really tasty!

  19. Ho so the poor man becomes rich! It's so fun how so many of these "peasant" dishes have turned into the gourmet today :)

    Like this very much!

  20. Pouding Chômeur? I've never had or heard of one. But I'll tell you what, it's on the to do list now. That sounds awesome!

  21. So simple, yet it sounds so delicious!

  22. I love this post. I really enjoy recipes that come to us with a history of their own. This is a unique pudding and one that I will have to try very soon. I'm glad to hear that there are signs of spring in your area.

  23. Love this recipe and your photos (all of them) are exquisite. Have you ever had maple syrup on snow?

  24. It's almost like an evolved butter tart - I love it and everything else with maple syrup in it.

  25. I've never heard of this before but it sounds so good. How can it not be with all that maple syrup and brown sugar? Yum!

  26. This is new to me but every ingredient sounds delicious. It just must be so.

  27. I love any dessert with the word pudding in it. It doesn't even have to be dessert. And I will love it.

    This is no exception. Love the use of seasonal maple syrup!

  28. This sounds wonderful! I also remember going on field trips (I don't remember where) and we tapped the trees for syrup. Haven't done it since, though.

    I have an award for you, Val. Feel free to stop by when you get the chance.

  29. Wonderful story and dessert. I'll be trying this with my little horde of maple syrup. I've been wanting something simple and sweet and not in the mood to do much of anything with a fuss, so this seems just about right. I like your new look on the blog.

  30. I love the individual portions~ Great idea.

  31. Oh yum. I love self-saucing puds too. And I adore maple syrup - this is definitely one that I'll be trying soon. How delicious. I love the story behind it too.


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