Friday, March 8, 2019

Old West Recipes: Desserts

And for our final post, let’s look at some dessert recipes from the Old West. 

Black Pudding

6 eggs
2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 cup molasses
1 cup sweet milk
1 tsp soda
1 tsp cinnamon

Mix well. Pour into a 1-pound can and steam for two to three hours by placing into a kettle of boiling water. Keep covered.

This is to be served with a vinegar sauce:

1 cup sugar
1 tbsp flour
½ tsp nutmeg
1 tbsp butter
2 tbsp vinegar
2 slightly beaten eggs

Add enough boiling water to sugar, flour, nutmeg, butter and vinegar to make the amount of sauce desired. Add eggs and cook, stirring constantly, until sauce reaches the desired consistency.

Potato Pie

¼ pound of potatoes
1 quart milk
3 tsp butter, melted
4 eggs, beaten
Sugar and nutmeg to taste

Boil potatoes until tender, then peel and rub them through a sieve. Add the rest of the ingredients and bake as you would a custart pie.

Sorghum Cake

2 tbsp butter
½ cup sugar
2 eggs
1 cup sorghum molasses
½ cup water
½ tsp baking soda
2 cups flour

Mix butter and sugar then add eggs. In a separate bowl mix molasses, water and baking soda. Combine all ingredients together. Bake at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes.

Sweet Potato Pie

Boil sweet potatoes until well done. Peel and slice them very thin. Line a deep pie pan with good, plain pastry and arrange the sliced potatoes in layers, dotting with butter and sprinkling sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg over each layer, using at least ½ cup of sugar. Pour over 3 tablespoons of whiskey and about ½ cup of water. Cover with pastry and bake. Serve warm.

Plum Pudding Sauce

Glass of brandy
2 oz. of fresh butter
Glass of Madeira*
Pounded sugar to taste

Mix sugar with part of the brandy and the butter. Warm until butter and sugar are dissolved, then add the rest of the brandy. Either pour it over the pudding or serve it in a tureen.

*The recipe makes no further mention of the Madeira. I don’t know if you add it to the mixture or simply drink the glassful!

Spotted Pup Pudding

Take whatever amount needed for hungry cowboys of fluffy, cooked rice. Put in a Dutch oven and cover with milk and well-beaten eggs. Add a dash of salt, raisins and a little nutmeg and vanilla. Sweeten well with sugar. Bake in a slow oven until egg mixture is done and raisins are soft. 

Red Bean Pie

1 cup cooked and mashed pinto beans
1 cup sugar
3 beaten egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp nutmeg

Place combined ingredients in an uncooked pie crust. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Make a meringue with leftover egg whites. Spread over baked pie and return to oven to brown.

Chocolate Caramels
(from a recipe in the Albuquerque Evening Citizen, Oct. 23, 1893)

Boil together a pound of white sugar, a quarter of a pound of chocolate, four tablespoons of molasses, a cup of sweet milk, and a piece of butter as big as a walnut. When it will harden in water, flavor with vanilla and pour on a buttered slab. When nearly cold, cut in squares.

Pie Plant (Rhubarb) Pie

3 cups pie plant (rhubarb)
1 cup sugar
1 tbsp full flour
1 tsp full butter
Pie crust for top and bottom

Wash pie plant. Do not skin. Cut into small pieces. Mix sugar and flour well with pie plant. Place in crust and dot with butter. Cover with upper crust and bake.

J.E.S. Hays


  1. Neat, I'm going to try a couple of those. Thanks for posting.

    1. Let us know how they turn out Gordo - post some pictures!

  2. I remember my great grandmother making a couple of these. They weren't bad.

    I confess, I love reading the old recipes, so you just just made my day. Doris

    1. Thanks Doris - let me know if you try any of them!

  3. Thanks, J.E.S., like Doris, I love reading old recipes.

    1. I'm glad you enjoyed it - I love finding them!

  4. If I can find the rhubarb I'm going to try the pie plant pie and see if it taste like the ones my grandma use to make - and I loved them. Thanks Doris.