382 DUMPLINGS AND PUDDINGS.
Dumplings boiled the same way, put into little separate cloths.
Batter puddings should be smoothly mixed and free from lumps. To ensure this, first mix the flour with a very small portion of milk, the yolks of the eggs and the sugar thoroughly beaten together, and added to this ; then add the remainder of the milk by degrees, then the seasoning, then the beaten whites of eggs last. Much success in mak- ing this kind of pudding depends upon a strict observance of this rule ; for, although the materials may be good, if the eggs are put into the milk before they are mixed with the flour, there will be a custard at the top and a soft dough at the bottom of your dish.
All sweet puddings require a little salt to prevent insipidity and to draw out the flavor of the several ingredients, but a grain too much will spoil any pudding.
In puddings where wine, brandy, cider, lemon juice or any acid is used, it should be. stirred in last and gradually, or it is apt to curdle the milk or eggs.
In making custard puddings (puddings made with eggs and milk), the yolks of the eggs and sugar should be thoroughly beaten together before any of the milk or seasoning is added, and the beaten whites of eggs last.
In making puddings of bread, rice, sago, tapioca, etc., the eggs should be beaten very light, and mixed with a portion of the milk, be- fore adding them to the other ingredients. If the eggs are mixed with the milk, without having been thus beaten, the milk will be absorbed by the bread, rice, sago, tapioca, etc., without rendering them light.
The freshness of all pudding ingredients is of much importance, as one bad article will taint the whole mixture.
When the freshness of eggs is doubtful, break each one separately in a cup before mixing them all together. Should there be a bad one amongst them, it can be thrown away ; whereas, if mixed with the good ones, the entire quantity would be spoiled. The yolks and whites beaten separately make the articles they are put into much lighter.
Raisins and dried fruit for puddings should be carefully picked and, in many cases, stoned. Currants should be well washed, pressed in a cloth and placed on a dish before the fire to get thoroughly dry ; they should be then picked carefully over, and every piece of grit or stone removed from amongst them. To plump them, some cooks pour boiling water over them and then dry them before the fire.