“Say’st thou so,” quoth Jack; “that is like one of your Welsh tricks, yet I hope to be cunning enough for you.” Then, getting out of bed, he laid a billet in the bed in his stead, and hid himself in a corner of the room. At the dead time of the night in came the Welsh giant, who struck several heavy blows on the bed with his club, thinking he had broken every bone in Jack’s skin. The next morning Jack, laughing in his sleeve, gave him hearty thanks for his night’s lodging. “How have you rested?” quoth the giant; “did you not feel anything in the night?” “No,” quoth Jack, “nothing but a rat, which gave me two or three slaps with her tail.” With that, greatly wondering, the giant led Jack to breakfast, bringing him a bowl containing four gallons of hasty pudding.-Jack the Giant Killer
With the minimum ingredients available to an English housewife, a hasty pudding, as the name suggests, could be pulled together in haste. While the name sounds rudimentary, Dorothy Hartley states in her book, Food in England, that when made well, hasty pudding tastes ‘better than it sounds’.
Recipes from the 1700s include a pudding made of egg, flour, milk, salt, some rose or orange water for flavour, butter and finished with some cinnamon. By the 1800s the egg had disappeared from the recipes.
The name ‘hasty pudding’ transitioned to a nursery milk pudding, before disappearing from cookbooks.
Jack the Giant Killer; Hasty Pudding
- Beat the egg into the flour until it forms into fine crumbs.
- Bring the full cream milk to a boil, then reduce and stir in the crumbed mixture.
- Keep stirring for 10-15 minutes until thickened.
- Stir in the salt, and rosewater before pouring into a well buttered bowl and placing dabs of fresh butter on top.
- Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar, then serve.
- Davidson, Alan. Oxford Companion of Food, Oxford University Press, 2014
- Hartley, Dorothy. Food in England, 1954