Sippet Pudding

sippet pudding

Bread pudding lovers will smack their lips at this recipe. Simple but hearty, it combines basic ingredients to make a dish that is rich and satisfying. The sauce is the crowning touch.

18th Century

Cut a loaf of bread as thin as possible, put a layer of it on the bottom of a deep dish, strew on some slices of marrow or butter, with a handful of currant or stoned raisins; do this until the dish is full; let the currants or raisins be on top; beat four eggs, mix them with a quart of milk that has been boiled a little and become cold, a quarter of a pound of sugar, and a grated nutmeg – pour it in, and bake in a moderate oven – eat it with wine sauce.

Randolph, Mary. “The Virginia Housewife”

21st Century

  • A large round loaf of French or Italian bread
  • ¼ pound of butter
  • ½ cup of dried currants or raisins (currants are sweeter)
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 cups of milk
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 tsp grated nutmeg
  • For Sauce: ½ stick butter, ¼ cup white wine, ¼ cup sugar
  1. This can best be described as a layered bread pudding with a hard sauce.
  2. Grease a 9” pie plate or layer cake pan.
  3. Slice the bread rather thin with a serrated edge knife. ¼ inch thick is nice.
  4. In the bottom of the plate/pan make one layer of bread slices, then put some butter pats on top, then strew some currants or raisins over that. Repeat that process until your plate/pan is full.
  5. In a bowl whip the eggs and blend in the warm milk, sugar and nutmeg until sugar is dissolved.
  6. Carefully pour this over the bread mixture in the plate/pan until it soaks into the bread without overflowing.
  7. Bake in a 375°F oven for 25 to 35 minutes or until the bread is browned and you can touch the top and it springs back.
  8. For the sauce combine the sugar, wine and butter in a saucepan and stir it over medium/high heat until thick and drizzle over the finished pudding.

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9 Responses to “Sippet Pudding”

  1. November 16th, 2012

    Linda Shoun says:

    I’m curious about the name of the recipe, the use of “sippet”. By the definitions I’ve seen on the site, sippets are either toasted or fried. These are not. So does “sippet” refer more the the shape, or that the bread is cut, than to the preparation method?

    I wonder if toasting the bread slices first might give the pudding some extra flavor.

    • November 19th, 2012

      Historic Foodways says:

      The sippets can be toasted or fried if you like. However, they are referring to pieces of bread used to “sop up” soups or saucy foods. Colonial Williamsburg’s taverns have long given toasted sippets with soups. My recommendation is not to toast them, as they will bake anyway and be sort of dried around the exposed edges as in the photo. Toasting the bread will not change the flavor of the pudding, it is all in the custard.

      -Dennis Cotner

  2. November 19th, 2012

    Anon says:

    I do not think the milk needs to be warmed in this recipe. Fresh milk which is “boiled a little and become cold” is homogenized milk, or regular modern whole milk. If anyone has used much fresh milk, one might know it is impossible to totally mix in the fat otherwise.

    • November 21st, 2012

      Historic Foodways says:

      The reason we warm the milk is so that the eggs and sugar blend together well before they are added to the bread and butter. You certainly don’t have to warm it if you choose not to, it just makes the blending better. Thanks for the observation.
      Dennis Cotner

    • September 14th, 2013

      Holly Whiteside says:

      I’m not an expert, but I think you mean “pasteurized” not homogenized. Pasteurizing is to heat, homogenizing is to emulsify (blending until the fat droplets won’t separate from the milk). Typical modern milk is both pasteurized and homogenized.

  3. March 3rd, 2014

    Brenda Lee Reed says:

    What is wine sauce? Is it poured over like syrup? Or should it drench the pudding? What modern wines would be appropriate? It is interesting how tricky reviving old food receipts can be. For instance, if I just barreled into this one, I’d find out half-way through that I needed to allow time for the milk to heat and then cool. Cooks back then probably expected this step.

    • March 11th, 2014

      Historic Foodways says:

      Dear Brenda,
      The wine sauce will simply add the moisture and sweetness to the recipe. As with any recipe, you can try to make changes and additions to suit your tastes. However I would recommend you go light on the sauce at first (following the recommendations of the recipe as listed). You can always add more!

  4. July 21st, 2014

    Alex Colvin says:

    Made this with Pear Brandy and Riesling. It was marvelous! I also do a traditional Figgy Pudding every Xmas which is always a big hit.

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