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Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Newfoundland Pease Pudding in the Pot


Pease Pudding  (or Peas Pudding) is a savoury, side dish made of boiled, mashed and seasoned yellow split peas.  A delicious addition to your dinner or supper meals.


Pease pudding hot,
Pease pudding cold,
Pease pudding in the pot
Nine days old.

Some like it hot,
some like it cold,
Some like it in the pot
Nine days old.
~Traditional~


I don't think I'd want "Pease pudding in the pot nine days old" but I do know I like pease pudding in the pot one or two days old!   Pease pudding is a very traditional dish served with Newfoundland cooked dinners. (Also known as Jiggs Dinner, Salt Meat Dinner, Boiled Dinner, Sunday Dinner and in our house, it's Vegetarian Cooked Dinner.)  A traditional cooked dinner consists of easily obtainable root and cruciferous vegetables boiled together in a large pot with some kind of salt meat. Fresh meat and gravy may also be served.  Potatoes, carrots, turnip and cabbage get top billing but sometimes turnip greens replace the cabbage.  Some families also cook parsnip along with the other vegetables.  My aunt always had a can of green peas ready to open to "stretch the dinner" if extra guests turned up at the table. The meat part of the meal is be some kind of salted beef or pork cooked for several hours in boiling water to which the vegetables are added about an hour before serving.  Along with the salt meat a roast, chicken or turkey with dressing and gravy often accompanies the dinner.  Sweet mustard pickles and pickled beets are the choice of condiments.  

Now, you'd think this would be a sumptuous enough dinner to fill the emptiest of stomachs.  But, no there's more.  Cooked along with the dinner are several puddings.  There might be a plain pudding, a figgy duff (raisin pudding), a blueberry pudding, a partridgeberry pudding or an onion bread pudding.  These are steamed puddings, boiled in a pudding bag or cotton pudding cloth right in the dinner pot with the vegetables and meat.  (You need a large stock pot for a cooked dinner.) Of course you wouldn't have them all at the same time but, regardless of any other pudding that may appear on the plate, there is always a pease pudding.

There are several ways to make a pease pudding. My mother-in-law, Nan Gill, always made hers in a pudding bag or cloth.  The peas are poured into a cloth bag and loosely tied, leaving room for the peas to expand.   The bag of peas is boiled with the meat for several hours and removed when the dinner is finished cooking.  The cooked peas are scraped from the bag, mashed with butter and salt and pepper.  My mother, Nan McBay, made her peas pudding in a pot.  The peas would be poured in a pot, covered with water and boiled for several hours until thick and mushy.  The peas are then mashed with butter and salt and pepper. Another way of making peas pudding is using a canning jar.  Punch holes in the lid of the jar.  Half fill the jar with peas. Lay the lid on top and screw down with the band.  Place the jar in the pot with the meat and boil until the dinner is finished cooking.  Mash the cooked peas with butter, salt and pepper.  

As, I stated above, my mother always made her peas pudding in a pot so that's how I usually make mine.  I've also made it in a pudding bag but for me, as a vegetarian,  it is more convenient and very easy to make it in the pot.  

The recipe for Pease Pudding is more of a process than a precise set of measurements.  I will give you the instructions for 1 pound of yellow split peas but the same instructions and process is used for any amount of peas you may wish to cook.  

Note: I deliberated long and hard on the spelling of "pease" or "peas" pudding.  You see it is spelled both ways and, especially in Newfoundland, I see "peas" as much as "pease".  So if you spell it "peas", please know that I know neither of us is probably wrong or right, ha, ha.  


Peas Pudding in the Pot
1 pound/454 grams dried yellow split peas, about 2 rounded cups
Water, as needed
1 vegetarian "beef" bouillon cube, optional
Salt and pepper, to taste
Butter to taste--lots of butter

Sort through the peas before cooking.  Remove any shriveled or dirty looking peas.  Be on the look-out for small stones.  In a strainer, wash and rinse the peas with cold water.  Place the peas in a medium large sauce pan and cover with more cold water.  Place on a medium high burner and bring the split peas to a boil.  Once the peas boil, turn down the heat so the peas will simmer.  

Once the peas start to soften, about an hour, season with the bouillon cube or use about ½ teaspoon salt if you don't use the bouillon.  Let the peas remain on the stove, on simmer, until they become soft and mushy.  Add more water if needed.  Cook until the peas are quite thick.  Stir occasionally so the peas won't stick.  The whole process will take 2- 2½ hours to complete.

Once the peas have cooked to the desired consistency season with salt and pepper to taste and beat in as much butter as you like.  At least 2 or 3 tablespoons.  (If you wish to keep this vegan use a vegan margarine.)

Pease Pudding can be made the day before and stored in the refrigerator.  Reheat in the microwave or on top of the stove.  Stir several times to ensure the pudding heats through.  

Pease Pudding will become thicker the longer it sits.  If it becomes too dry, add a little water to bring it back to the proper consistency.  

Store any leftover pudding covered in the refrigerator for several days.  Leftover Pease Pudding can also be used to make a quick pea soup or a delicious vegetarian dinner loaf.  

Makes 8-10 servings.  


Dried Yellow Split Peas are readily available in most grocery stores.  They come in various size bags.

Pick over the peas and then wash and rinse the peas.  Place the peas in a medium to large saucepan and cover with cold water.

Let the peas come to a boil and then turn down the heat and let them simmer about an hour.  The peas should be starting to soften but they won't be done.

When the peas are starting to get really soft add the vegetarian bouillon cube or the salt and continue cooking.   

Once the peas have turned very soft and mushy, beat in the butter.  Taste and add salt and pepper to taste if needed.  

The peas should become quite smooth.  If they seem too watery, let them cook a few more minutes stirring occasionally so they won't stick to the bottom of the pot.   

 Upon standing, pease pudding will become thicker.


Pease Pudding plain or with a little drizzle of gravy makes a tasty addition to any cooked dinner.


Pease Pudding--a great, traditional, Newfoundland dish.

print recipe
Peas Pudding in the Pot
Pease Pudding (or Peas Pudding) is a savoury, side dish made of boiled, mashed and seasoned yellow split peas. A delicious addition to your dinner or supper meals.
Ingredients
  • 1 pound/454 grams dried yellow split peas, about 2 rounded cups
  • Water, as needed
  • 1 vegetarian "beef" bouillon cube, optional
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Butter to taste--lots of butter
Instructions
Sort through the peas before cooking. Remove any shriveled or dirty looking peas. Be on the look-out for small stones. In a strainer, wash and rinse the peas with cold water. Place the peas in a medium large sauce pan and cover with more cold water. Place on a medium high burner and bring the split peas to a boil. Once the peas boil, turn down the heat so the peas will simmer.

Once the peas start to soften, about an hour, season with the bouillon cube or use about ½ teaspoon salt if you don't use the bouillon. Let the peas remain on the stove, on simmer, until they become soft and mushy. Add more water if needed. Cook until the peas are quite thick. Stir occasionally so the peas won't stick. The whole process will take 2- 2½ hours to complete.

Once the peas have cooked to the desired consistency season with salt and pepper to taste and beat in as much butter as you like. At least 2 or 3 tablespoons. (If you wish to keep this vegan use a vegan margarine.)

Pease Pudding can be made the day before and stored in the refrigerator. Reheat in the microwave or on top of the stove. Stir several times to ensure the pudding heats through.

Pease Pudding will become thicker the longer it sits. If it becomes too dry, add a little water to bring it back to the proper consistency.

Store any leftover pudding covered in the refrigerator for several days. Leftover Pease Pudding can also be used to make a quick pea soup or a delicious vegetarian dinner loaf.
Details
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 8-10 servings

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Newfoundland Molasses Partridgeberry Jam Tart


Molasses Partridgeberry Jam Tart--spicy, sweet molasses pastry is paired with sharp and tangy Partridgeberry jam (lingonberry) for a taste explosion in your mouth.  Gobs of cream complete this traditional Newfoundland berry pie.  Perfect for Thanksgiving or Christmas dessert.

Molasses Jam Tart, using a variety of jams, is a traditional Newfoundland dessert.  Newfoundland and Labrador has an abundance of wild berries which, for centuries, have been picked and preserved for winter use.  Even today, many families still enjoy picking the wild berries during warm fall days.  

During the 19th century Newfoundland dried salt cod was traded for West Indian molasses.  Molasses would have been used for everyday sweetening as opposed to sugar which would have been saved for special occasions or used by the well-to-do merchants.  Molasses was used in tea, spread on bread and sweetened breads, cakes, puddings, pies, cookies and other sweet treats.  

It's no wonder someone eventually put the berries and molasses together into a delicious Molasses Jam Tart.

I remember the first time I tasted a Molasses Jam Tart. It was Grandparents' Day at the school where I taught.  The Grade 6 children had prepared a lovely program of music/songs, poems and stories to present to their beloved grandparents.  And, of course, every grandparent was as pleased as could be to watch their darling grandchildren perform.  As my classroom was across the hall from the cafeteria where the program was held I could hear the muffled sounds of the piano, singing and applause all afternoon.  Following the program, as is the custom in Newfoundland, lunch was served to those in attendance.  The parents and grandparents had supplied all manner of sandwiches, cookies, cakes and pies and the school had supplied the beverages.

As soon as I had bade my Grade 1 students farewell for the day, I made a beeline directly to the cafeteria to scout out the lunch table for any goodies that may have still been hanging around.  I immediately spied a peculiar looking pie on one of the tables.  It had a very dark crust and was filled with some kind of jam filling.  Upon further inspection (in my mouth) I ascertained the pie was a spicy molasses crust filled with the beloved Newfoundland partridgeberry.  Looking around I asked one of the grandparents what kind of pie I was eating.  She laughed and told me she had made the pie and it wasn't a pie it was a Molasses Partridgeberry Jam Tart. She also told me people have been making molasses jam tarts for years.  Obviously, my family hadn't!  And to top it off there was a can of Fussell's thick cream to spoon over the pie.  Oh, my! Yum! What a treat!

I decided I had to make one of these tarts myself.  And here I am, years later, doing so.  The hardest part of making this tart is making the lattice top.  The dough is so soft the strips of dough keep breaking.  I persevered and eventually I had a nice top for the tart.  Once can also just lay the strips down one way and then do a second layer the other way.  It's not a real lattice but it may save your nerves! 

When the pie is first baked the crust is crisp but leave it overnight and it mellows and becomes a lovely soft cookie-like pastry. We enjoyed the Molasses Partridgeberry Jam Tart at our Thanksgiving dinner on Sunday past. 

You will need a 9-inch pie or tart pan. The jam can be made several days before you make the pie.  Keep it refrigerated until ready to use.  The tart also freezes well for future eating.


Newfoundland Molasses Partridgeberry Jam Tart

1 unbaked double crust molasses pastry
1½ - 2 cups partridgeberry jam or you can substitute cranberry jam or sauce


Partridgeberry Jam

4 cups fresh or frozen partridgeberries (lingonberries)
or 3 cups Partridgeberries and 3 apples peeled and diced
2 cups sugar (may reduce to 1½  cups if using apples)

In a large saucepan over medium heat, bring the berries, apples (if using) and sugar to a boil.  You may add a little water if the berries are sticking before the juice is released.  Boil gently until a jam consistency has been achieved.  This may take anywhere from half an hour to an hour.  Stir occasionally so the jam will not burn.  Remove from heat and let cool.


Note: Partridgeberry Jam can be quite tart.  Feel free to add a little more sugar or make with less berries and a greater amount of apples.


Molasses Pastry

½ cup butter, room temperature
¼ cup brown sugar
¼ cup fancy molasses
2 tablespoons water
1¾ cups flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon cloves
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon baking soda

In a large bowl beat butter, brown sugar, molasses and water together.   Sift or mix together the flour, spices, salt and baking soda together.  Add dry ingredients to the creamed mixture and combine well.  The dough will be quite soft, similar to a cookie dough.  Cover the dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate about an hour.  This will make the dough easier to handle.


To assemble the tart: Remove the Molasses Pastry from the refrigerator and divide into two pieces, one a little larger than the other.  On a well-floured surface roll the larger piece into a rough circle a little smaller than a 9-inch pie or tart pan.  Butter the pie or tart pan.  Carefully lift the dough into the buttered pie pan and press and fit the dough up the sides to the edge of the pan. Don't make the crust too thick.  You want it about a quarter of an inch thick.  Lay aside any left over dough.  


Pour the cooled jam into the pie crust.  Use between 1½ - 2 cups partridgeberry jam, depending on how thick you like your tart.  Any leftover jam can be used on toast. 


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.


Take the second piece of pie dough and roll to about ¼-inch thick.  Cut long strips about ¾-inch wide.  Carefully weave the strips on top of the filling into a lattice top.  Or if you do not wish to do a lattice top just lay the strips one way and then another.  Stick the strips to the bottom crust by brushing a little water between the layers and pressing together.  Trim off any overhang and if using a pie plate flute the edge or press with the tines of a fork to make a nice edge. 


Place the pie in the preheated 375 degree oven for 15 minutes.  Lower the heat to 350 degrees and continue baking an additional 30 minutes.  To avoid burning the edges an aluminum foil shield can be placed over the pie before baking.   When baked let cool on baking rack. 


Serve the pie with whipped or canned cream or scoops of vanilla ice cream.


Makes 1 9-inch pie or 8 servings.



Mix the berries, apples (if using) and sugar together in a large saucepan.  Bring to a boil until you have a good jam consistency.  Let the jam cool until ready to use. Make the Partridgeberry Jam before beginning to make the dough.  You can make this several days before and keep refrigerated. 


To make the soft cookie-like dough beat the butter, brown sugar and molasses together.  Mix in the dry ingredients.


Cover the dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour.  This will make the dough easier to roll out.


After chilling divide the dough into two pieces one piece slightly larger than the other.


On a well-floured surface roll the larger piece into a rough circle.  


Grease the pie plate or tart pan with a little butter.  This molasses pastry does not have as much fat as a traditional pie pastry and may stick if the dish is not greased. 


Place the rolled dough into the pie plate.  Press and fit the dough up the sides of the pie plate.  Don't make the crust too thick.  A quarter of an inch thick should be thick enough.  It will rise a little while baking because of the baking soda.  Lay aside any left over dough.


Pour the cooled jam into the crust and spread evenly. 1½ - 2 cups should be plenty.  The jam can be very overpowering if it too thick in the pie.


Roll out the second smaller piece of dough and cut in strips.  Weave a lattice design on top of the jam.  This can be difficult because the dough is very soft, even after chilling.  You can also make a fake lattice by laying the strips one way and then laying a second layer the other way on top of the first layer.  If you have a tart pan, trim off the edges flush with the edge of the pan.  If you are using a pie plate, like I did, flute the edges close to the filling.  Lay aside any left over scraps of dough.


Molasses burns very easily so I would strongly urge you to make an aluminum foil shield to lay on top of the pie while baking.  This is just a sheet of foil with the middle cut out.  I scrunched the sides down around the plate.


Bake the pie 15 minutes at 375 degrees and then for 30 minutes at 350 degrees.  When the pie/tart is baked let cool on a baking rack.


I had some scraps of left over dough.  I rolled the dough into 2-inch balls and rolled them in granulated sugar. I baked the cookies about 8-10 minutes at 375 degrees.  I'd call these a bonus bake!


  Now, back to the pie.  Doesn't that look good?!!


A well-baked pie cuts clean and presents beautifully on the plate. 

Cream or ice cream perfectly complements a Molasses Partridgeberry Jam Tart.  

A tasty traditional Newfoundland dessert!
Molasses Partridgeberry Jam Tart



print recipe

Molasses Partridgeberry Jam Tart
Spicy, sweet molasses pastry is paired with sharp and tangy Partridgeberry jam (lingonberry) for a taste explosion in your mouth. Gobs of cream complete this traditional Newfoundland berry pie.


Newfoundland Molasses Partridgeberry Jam Tart
1 unbaked double crust molasses pastry
1½ - 2 cups partridgeberry jam or you can substitute cranberry jam or sauce


Partridgeberry Jam
4 cups fresh or frozen partridgeberries (lingonberries)
or 3 cups Partridgeberries and 3 apples peeled and diced
2 cups sugar (may reduce to 1½  cups if using apples)

In a large saucepan over medium heat, bring the berries, apples (if using) and sugar to a boil.  You may add a little water if the berries are sticking before the juice is released.  Boil gently until a jam consistency has been achieved.  This may take anywhere from half an hour to an hour.  Stir occasionally so the jam will not burn.  Remove from heat and let cool.

NotePartridgeberry Jam can be quite tart.  Feel free to add a little more sugar or make with less berries and a greater amount of apples.

Molasses Pastry
½ cup butter, room temperature
¼ cup brown sugar
¼ cup fancy molasses
2 tablespoons water
1¾ cups flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon cloves
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon baking soda

In a large bowl beat butter, brown sugar, molasses and water together.   Sift or mix together the flour, spices, salt and baking soda together.  Add dry ingredients to the creamed mixture and combine well.  The dough will be quite soft, similar to a cookie dough.  Cover the dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate about an hour.  This will make the dough easier to handle.

To assemble the tart: Remove the Molasses Pastry from the refrigerator and divide into two pieces, one a little larger than the other.  On a well-floured surface roll the larger piece into a rough circle a little smaller than a 9-inch pie or tart pan.  Butter the pie or tart pan.  Carefully lift the dough into the buttered pie pan and press and fit the dough up the sides to the edge of the pan. Don't make the crust too thick.  You want it about a quarter of an inch thick.  Lay aside any left over dough.  

Pour the cooled jam into the pie crust.  Use between 1½ - 2 cups partridgeberry jam, depending on how thick you like your tart.  Any leftover jam can be used on toast. 

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Take the second piece of pie dough and roll to about ¼-inch thick.  Cut long strips about ¾-inch wide.  Carefully weave the strips on top of the filling into a lattice top.  Or if you do not wish to do a lattice top just lay the strips one way and then another.  Stick the strips to the bottom crust by brushing a little water between the layers and pressing together.  Trim off any overhang and if using a pie plate flute the edge or press with the tines of a fork to make a nice edge. 

Place the pie in the preheated 375 degree oven for 15 minutes.  Lower the heat to 350 degrees and continue baking an additional 30 minutes.  To avoid burning the edges an aluminum foil shield can be placed over the pie before baking.   When baked let cool on baking rack. 

Serve the pie with whipped or canned cream or scoops of vanilla ice cream.


Details
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 1 9-inch pie or 8 servings