Have you tried macaroni pudding? This old fashioned recipe is a really frugal dish made from pantry staples and, it's really easy to make.
Like all milk puddings, it's a really comforting and filling dessert that is perfect for cold days, or for when you just need cheering up.
Serve this hot from the oven, warm or cold from the fridge. I love it warm with a dollop of clotted cream.
My husband remembers this pudding fondly from childhood and I said I would make it for him, although we didn't have a recipe.
I scoured all of my cookery books and found a recipe in a 1968 edition of Mrs Beeton's family cookery. I followed the recipe faithfully, including folding whipped egg whites into hot milk, which didn't seem right at all. Even after doubling the baking time the pudding was a curdled mess, that only the dogs were vaguely interested in, and the whole lot went in the bin!
All of the research pointed to the macaroni being baked in a type of custard mixture, so this is my version, which my husband assures me is how he remembers it. And yes, he is the first to tell me when something I've cooked isn't right.
Let me know what you think in the comments or if you have a family recipe for this too.
All of the ingredients for this recipe are likely to be in your kitchen already, so you can make this dessert at any time.
- Macaroni - standard dried short macaroni. The original recipe called for macaroni that you needed to break into small pieces.
- Eggs - medium or large eggs.
- Sugar - caster (fine sugar) or golden caster.
- Vanilla extract
- Milk - whole milk or semi skimmed.
- Butter - this is just for greasing the pie dish.
- Nutmeg - freshly grated if possible or ground nutmeg from a jar.
- Salt - for cooking the pasta.
See recipe card for quantities.
- Saucepan - for cooking the pasta.
- Measuring jug
- 26 centimetre or 10 inch pie dish
Fill a medium saucepan two thirds with water and bring to the boil.
Add the salt and pasta and cook for 10 to 14 minutes, according to the packet instructions. The pasta should be soft.
Drain the pasta in a colander then return it to the saucepan.
Measure out the milk in a jug and add the eggs, sugar and vanilla.
Whisk to combine the custard mixture then pour it over the cooked macaroni, mixing well.
Grease the pie dish with the butter. Use a pastry brush for this or a piece of kitchen paper.
Pour in the macaroni mixture and put the dish on a large baking tray.
Grate the nutmeg over the top.
⏲️ Baking time
Bake in a preheated oven at 180 C/350 F/160 C FAN/Gas Mark 4 for an hour.
There should still be some wobble in the middle of the pudding when you take it out of the oven.
Serve warm from the oven or cold from the fridge.
🥗 Serve with
- Ice cream
- Whipped, single or clotted cream
- Drizzled with runny honey
- Chocolate or caramel sauce
- A dollop of strawberry jam
- Fresh fruit, such as strawberries or raspberries
- Macaroni - use other small pasta shapes like shells or bows instead.
- Adult only - add a tablespoon or two of brandy or rum and replace a quarter of the milk, (125 ml), with single cream.
- Child friendly - serve with a dollop of jam or drizzle of honey.
- Flavouring - replace the nutmeg with ground cinnamon or ginger or add the zest of a lemon or orange to the custard mixture.
Cool the pudding to room temperature and then cover with cling film.
Store in the fridge for up to 3 days. It is easiest to reheat a portion in the microwave for 1 minute on high. Check the temperature and cook on high for another minute, until the temperature is right.
This baked pudding is mentioned in Mrs Beeton’s The Book of Household Management, published in 1861, but there have been references to macaroni from the 1300's. It may have come from a time when it was common for wealthy households to bring across chefs from Europe, notably France, Spain and Italy, who have influenced the food in Britain.
In fact, a version of macaroni and cheese is first mentioned in a 14th century British book, no doubt from Italian influences at the time!
- 26 cm or 10 inch pie dish
- measuring jug
- 115 g macaroni
- 2 eggs
- 50 g sugar golden caster
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 500 ml semi skimmed milk
- 1 teaspoon butter
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Fill a medium saucepan two thirds with water and bring to the boil.
- Add the salt and pasta and cook for 10 to 14 minutes, according to the packet instructions. The pasta should be soft.
- Drain the pasta in a colander then return it to the saucepan.
- Measure out the milk in a jug and add the eggs, sugar and vanilla.
- Whisk to combine the custard mixture then pour it over the cooked macaroni, mixing well.
- Grease the pie dish with the butter then pour in the macaroni mixture and put the dish on a large baking tray.
- Bake in a preheated oven at 180 C/350 F/160 C FAN/Gas Mark 4 for an hour.
Disclaimer: The nutritional information provided is approximate and is calculated using online tools. Information can vary depending on various factors, but we have endeavoured to be as accurate as possible.
Detailed instructions for this recipe, including step by step photographs, hints and tips, can be found in the main article
- Do not use the same utensils on cooked food, that previously touched raw meat.
- Wash hands after touching raw meat.
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods.
- Never leave cooking food unattended'
- Use oils with high smoking point to avoid harmful compounds.
- Always have good ventilation when using gas.
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