Waldorf Pudding

My friend Katie and I wanted to commemorate and dedicate an evening to the Titanic on the centennial anniversary of the sinking. Katie hosted dinner at her place, and I offered to make the dessert. Our menu matched the dishes served in the First Class Dining Room on April 14, 1912. I chose to make the Waldorf Pudding and the Eclairs.

Waldorf Pudding is not a well known recipe. I found this one in the book Last Dinner on the Titanic: Menus and Recipes from the Great Liner. The book states that the real recipe does not exist today, however this recipe is created using the known ingredients and descriptions. 

2 large tart apples, peeled

1/2 cup golden raisins

2 tbsp. lemon juice

1 tbsp. finely chopped crystallized ginger

1 tbsp. butter

1/3 cup granulated sugar

2 cups milk

4 egg yolks, beaten

Pinch finely ground nutmeg

1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

3/4 cup toasted walnuts, halved

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Peel and thinly slice the apples. Place them in a bowl and stir in golden raisins, lemon juice and crystallized ginger. 

Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add the apple mixture and cook for 1 minute. Add 2 tablespoons of the sugar and cook for 4 to 5 minutes, or when the apples begin to caramelize, stirring often. 

Remove apples from heat, and spread in the bottom of a 10-inch baking dish. In a saucepan over medium heat, bring the milk to a light simmer. As the milk is heating, beat the egg yolks slightly in a heatproof bowl. Whisking the eggs constantly, pour in a small amount of milk. This step is important, you do not want the hot milk to cook the eggs. 

Whisk in all the milk slowly, then the remaining sugar, nutmeg, and vanilla. Pour the mixture over the apples. 

Place the baking dish in a large roasting pan and pour in enough boiling water to cover the sides. This is an important step for making any kind of custard. It keeps the temperature regulated on the bottom and sides so the custard sets evenly. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, until the sides are set, but the center is still wobbly. Sprinkle walnuts on the top, and cool to room temperature and serve. 

I loved this dessert, it was unique and refreshing. The tart apples mixed with the lightly sweetened custard perfectly, and the crunch of the walnuts rounded out the texture in every bite. This is a great dessert after a big meal. Also, I candied my walnuts, for added sweetness.