Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Spiced Prune and Cheese Pudding

Wartime, prison time, and college are all similar, in that they will lead you to try some very odd food combinations in a desperate effort to add enough variety to your meals to ward off those cannibalistic urges  which are always, always hiding just below the surface, barely restrained by the trappings of social niceties, and which tend to become stronger when coupled with a monotonous diet.

Rationing can lead to some pretty weird recipes, some of which stick around long after better things become available.  Don’t believe me?  Look through a cookbook from the 40’s or 50’s and see how long it takes for you to find something that sounds bat shit crazy.  In a gesture indicating that she wishes I had moved out sooner, my mom sent me a recipe for spiced prune and cheese pudding, which came from some cookbook that was published in 1956. 

No, this is not like a Yorkshire pudding.  No it’s not cheddar cheese, or swiss or any other kinds of wholesome, God-fearing cheeses that all red-blooded Americans consume by the pound.  This is a dessert pudding and it’s made with cottage cheese.  They weren’t kidding when they called this "spiced pudding".  If you don’t already have the required spices then this recipe can get real pricy, real fast. Also you should stock your kitchen better.  Luckily, I do have a well stocked spice rack. I’m graduating from college this week and I need that money for beer and shenanigans.  Anyway, you will need:

Dried prunes
Nilla wafers
Chopped walnuts 
Cottage cheese
Cream or evaporated milk
A lemon
Ground cloves

Butter 1 1/5 quart casserole dish and set it aside.
The recipe says to cover ¾ of a cup of dried prunes in boiled water and simmer it for about 45 minutes, or until tender.  Coarsely chop them and remove the pits.  Luckily, packaged dried prunes these days are usually pitted and pretty tender to start with, so that step isn't strictly necessary.

Now you need to melt three tablespoons of butter and make a half cup of nilla wafer crumbs, which takes about 12 cookies.  Put them in a big resealable bag and take your frustrations out on them.  Now mix the crumbs together with the butter and set it aside. 

Measure out a half cup of chopped walnuts and set aside
Sift together 1/3 cup sugar, 1 tablespoon flour, 1/4 tsp salt, cinnamon and nutmeg and 1/8 tsp cloves. Set aside.

It says to put 1 ½ cups of cottage cheese through a sieve to strain out excess moisture. Luckily,cottage cheese technology has marched on and you probably don't need to do that. Anyway, mix it with 2 beaten eggs, a half cup of cream or undiluted evaporated milk, 1 tsp lemon juice and 1/2 tsp grated lemon peel.

Stir the dry mixture, chopped walnuts and prunes into it. 

Now it says to “Turn mixture into casserole”.  I’m going to assume that means that you should pour the mixture into the dish now.   

Everyone here agrees that it looks like vomit.  Opinion is divided as to what kind of animal it came from.

Top it with the wafer crumbs. 


Bake at 350 35-50 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.  I ended up cooking it for about an hour.  Serve it warm.


Oh wow…This is actually good.  It’s actually really good.  I don't like dried fruit so that's a nice surprise.  It tastes a little bit like a baked apple.  The texture is a bit like a dense cobbler crossed with a quiche.  Sorry if this description is a bit confusing.  It’s a bit hard to find relevant comparisons.  Four of my friends also tried it.  The general verdict is “It tastes nice but the texture is weird”. I guess we can now rest assured that this recipe is just as successful at staving off cannibalism today as it was in the 50's.  

Stay queer!


  1. put 1 ½ cups of cottage cheese through a sieve

    I think this means to press the cottage cheese through a sieve in order to break up the chunks?

    Anyways, your blog is hilarious!

  2. Hmm, maybe! That hadn't occurred to me.

    Thank you, I'm glad you like it. :)