Cutting Back Sugar?

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Joined Feb 1, 2007
Just finished testing a "new" 18th century recipe for a potato pudding. Everything worked out well, except it's a bit on the sweet side for our taste.

I want to adapt it, but have no idea what effect cutting the sugar will have. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Here's the recipe:

POTATO PUDDING

1 lb potato 
¾ lb butter
½ lb sugar 

¾ cup milk or cream 
Juice and zest of one lemon
2 tsp nutmeg
4 whole eggs 
3 egg yolks
2 tsp rose water

Cook potatoes and mash well.

Cream butter and sugar. Combine with other ingredients.

Transfer mixture to a 1 ½ quart casserole dish. Bake at 350F in home oven or Dutch oven until top is browned and custard is set, about 1 ½ hours.
 
 
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I don't think that It matters all that much. I know that you cream the butter and sugar to help leven the dish, I think that if you got rid of the sugar all together then you may have problems, but cutting it down a little should not hurt.
 
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KYH, since I'm living in a country where most people eat potatoes every day, I am interested in this kind of stuff. I never heard of a potato dish in which sugar was involved, which doesn't mean it does not exist, I would dare make a guess it's scandinavian, but the rose water, that's arabic and they don't eat potatoes. To be frank, sugar and potatoes are a big no for me.

I'm also thinking of the potatoblinis I make with gravad lax. In fact they are small pancakes but without the sugar. Basically it's potato, 20% of that volume flour, an egg, a dash of cream and add milk until you reach a stage where the dough has the consistency of mayo, seasoning. Fried in a pan, they go fluffy and very tasteful even without sugar.

When I read your ingredients and the quantities you use, I'm very sceptical about the measurements. If it were me, I would make these changes;

1 lb potato
¾ lb butter; 250 gram (1/2lb)
½ lb sugar; I would leave that out completely and go for salt and pepper. Maybe some flour instead?


¾ cup milk or cream; I would go to 750 ml since you're using a very big quantity of eggs. This quantity of milk will match the eggquantity. Of course, the eggs will make the dough raise while baking and come down again when cooling.
Juice and zest of one lemon
2 tsp nutmeg; that's an enormous amount, I would go for just a pinch
4 whole eggs
3 egg yolks
2 tsp rose water; that's absolutely too much, a few drops will already be more than enough, that stuff is much too overpowering.  
 
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Joined Apr 4, 2011
This looks like it's a variation on an old dish from the south-west of the UK. This wouldn't originally have contained rosewater and would probably use something like brandy instead. The original reason for the use of potatoes as starch is simply that they're the main arable crop down there due to the nature of the soil.
 
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Maybe I wasn't clear. This isn't my recipe. It comes from Amelia Simmon's "American Cookery," which was published in 1796, and is considered the first American cookbook.

Vegetable puddings, both sweet and savory, were very common all through the 18th century---particularly in the English speaking world. Makes sense, cuz the Brits have always loved their puddings. And keep in mind that while we differentiate puddings from custards, they didn't. So that can sometimes confuse things. 

At any rate, I'm not looking to radically change the ingredients. I just want to lower the sweetness level.

So, if I'm reading everyone correctly, cutting the sugar by, say, a quarter or even a half should not affect the cooking times, texture, or amounts of the other ingredients?
 
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I wasn't really trying to suggest that you change it, just hoping to shed a bit of light on its origins. There was fairly heavy migration to North America from the UK around the time the potato was gaining in widespread popularity as a foodstuff (1740s & 1750s) and the recipe probably came across sometime then. Virginia in particular had a lot of migrants from Cornwall, where the old dish I mentioned originates - it's an almost identical dish. Does the cookbook have any more information on this, I wonder?

It should be safe to cut down the sugar by about a quarter without causing many problems, if the texture changes markedly you could try removing the white of one egg to compensate.
 
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>It should be safe to cut down the sugar by about a quarter without causing many problems, if the texture changes markedly you could try removing the white of one egg to compensate.<

That's the sort of thing I was looking for. Thanks!
 
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Joined Apr 3, 2010
KYH: 

Never heard of it but it sounds good. I am going to make a small batch I am going to add a touch of cinnamon.

     I normall make a savory potato pudding or kugel type cut in triangles to be served with the roast.
 
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Ed, this is nothing like a kugel. It's much more custardy, and is sweet.

But give it a try and see what you think.
 
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I can tell that by looking at formula. And as I said mine is savory.  You could also use noodles , like a sweet noodle pudding.
 
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lucshun (sp?) kugle is my fave, Ed. And, while I make a good one, it just doesn't compare to my Mom's. But then, does anyone's?
 
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I use the same formula for Kugel that I do for potato latkas only a little more egg, so it stays moist . I now make it in cupcake pans, so I dont have to figure portions. I figure 2 cupcakes  pp.
 
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Love the idea of using cupcake tins, Ed.

I do the same thing when making dressing (stuffing for the northerners in the group). Stole the idea from, of all people, Rachael Ray, who called 'em "Stuffin' Muffins." Later I googled that phrase and it turns out there are several dozen versions, all under the same name.

Potato Kugle was one of my Dad's specialities, and we reserved it for special occasions. I rarely make it myself, cuz I prefer latkes, and if I'm going to the fuss of grating spuds I usually opt for the pancakes.
 
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