I know what you’re thinking- sweet macaroni pudding?! She’s gone mad. This is the mashed potato cakes all over again. I’ve got no reasoning for this, I don’t know what made me try it. I don’t even have a dissertation-addled brain to blame it on this time.
Maybe it isn’t as mad as you think, though. A while ago I did a university project around an Italian brand of products, and I was charged (not really I just gave myself this task) with producing a sweet dessert using the products- not easy with chopped tomatoes and spaghetti.
Recommended by my Nan, this sweet macaroni pudding had been my initial idea. It’s another old classic, and dates back to around the 1800s. The recipe I used as a guide was actually from Mrs Beeton’s Book of Household Management, first published in 1861. Rice pudding is a particularly common dessert, as is tapioca, so a jump to macaroni pudding isn’t so hard to believe.
Unfortunately, the brand in question for my uni project didn’t sell macaroni in any of my local supermarkets, so this slightly bizarre idea was shelved at the time. But I was crawling around the internet looking at strange recipes, as one often does, and this one crept up again. To see it surface again, it felt like fate, and I knew I was going to have to try it.
This sweet macaroni pudding is a cross between a rice pudding and a bread and butter pudding. It’s a very similar texture and consistency to rice pudding, but whilst rice pudding can sometimes be a bit non-descript, the macaroni adds texture. The milk and egg mixture gives it the silky-yet-stodgy consistency of bread and butter pudding, and it’s real home comfort food. It can be quite bland, but the nutmeg adds flavour, and if you’re feeling super adventurous, stir in a handful of raisins (I don’t like dried fruit so I skipped this option!).
I used almond milk in this recipe, since I was inspired after Monday’s post, but you can use any sort of milk substitute you like. If you aren’t quite committed to a new dairy-free diet just yet, you could always use cow’s milk, or even a combination of milks. Condensed milk or sweetened evaporated milk could be used, but don’t use too much or it will be a bit too stodgy!
As for the macaroni, I’m not sure I’d recommend any substitutes. Farfalle or penne pasta is a little bit too extreme, even for me.
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PREP 30 mins
COOK 40 mins
▪ Will keep for 2 days in fridge, but best eaten on day of prep
1.2L almond milk
3 eggs, beaten
1 Add the macaroni to a saucepan along with half of the milk. Simmer on a medium heat for about 25 minutes, or until the macaroni is soft and tender.
2 Pre-heat the oven to 180°c/350°f/gas mark 4. Pour the macaroni over the base of an ovenproof dish and allow to cool slightly.
3 Mix the remaining milk with the beaten eggs, brandy, and sugar. Pour over the macaroni mixture, then sprinkle or grate nutmeg all over the top.
4 Bake in the oven for about 35-40 minutes, or until the mixture has set and the edges are a caramelised brown colour. ▪