In the Kitchen: Black Walnut Sweet Potato Pudding (1953)

Dear Constant Reader,

The other night we were having barbecue to celebrate Scratch’s birthday. I thought this dish from 250 Delectable Dessert Recipes might make a complimentary dessert. It was good, but not in the way I expected. It’s not very sweet and makes a much better side dish. I thought I would share it here in case you’re looking for a not-so-sweet sweet potato dish for your Thanksgiving table.

You will need sweet potatoes, honey or syrup, eggs, butter, milk, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, raisins, black walnuts.

The recipe itself couldn’t be simpler. Grate the potatoes, melt the butter, beat the eggs, and combine everything together. Pour into a buttered baking dish and bake. Top with more walnuts.

A few notes:
I cut the recipe in half, since the original was supposed to serve 6. They didn’t say what size baking dish to use, so I grabbed a 9″ pie pan. This amount filled it completely and I would say serves 8.

I used maple syrup for the sweetener, but I’m sure agave would work fine, or honey, like they say. I also used almond milk, like I almost always do. You could probably sub other dried fruit for the raisins. I’d probably also add a bit more that the recipe calls for.

The recipe specifically calls for black walnuts, but they’re not so easy to get. Our neighbor has a tree that drops nuts into my backyard, so I collect and process them (which is *very* labor intensive. They’ve got a very distinctive bleu cheese-y taste and really want to be toasted before using. I see no reason you couldn’t use English walnuts, or any other nut. Pecans or hazelnuts would probably be quite delicious.

(slices missing because I forgot to take a picture before I cut into it)

Here’s the recipe just as it appeared in the 1953 cookbook 250 Delectable Dessert Recipes.

Black Walnut Sweet Potato Pudding
1 pound uncooked sweet potatoes, grated
1/2 cup honey or sirup
3 eggs, well beaten
2 tablespoons butter, melted
2 cups sweet milk
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ginger or allspice
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup black walnut meats

Mix all ingredients together and pour into a buttered baking dish. Bake in slow oven (325F) 1 hour, stirring occasionally, for 6.

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