|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.
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.
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
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