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By November 20, 2022 Read More →

Marlborough Pudding for Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving was THE holiday in the 1830s and Marlborough Pudding was THE perfect end to the feast. Several people have asked for the recipe after sampling Marlborough Pudding at last Saturday’s Hearth Cooking day or having seen the recipe prepared in our Holidays in the Mill House video.

Marlborough Pudding is actually a custard pie made flavored with apples, lemon and sherry. Popular throughout the 19th century, the dish fell out of favor but is well-worth bringing back for your holiday meals.

Our recipe, or receipt as it would have been called in the 1830s, is adapted from Amelia Simmons’ American Cookery. Published in 1796, American Cookery was the first American cookbook. We have a included a receipt for puff pastry but you can use a prepared pastry shell.

Marlborough Pudding

6 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled

Juice of 1 lemon

¾ cup stewed, pureed apples (receipt below)

¾ cup sherry

½ cup heavy cream

¾ cup sugar

4 eggs, beaten

Puff Pastry (1/2 the following receipt)

2 teaspoons grated nutmeg

  • Mix butter, lemon juice, apples, sherry, cream, sugar, and eggs together.
  • Line a deep pie pan with pastry.
  • Season pastry with grated nutmeg and spoon mixture into pie pan.
  • Bake 1 hour in hot oven. (Done when knife inserted in center comes out clean.) Cool before serving. (If using a modern oven, bake 15 minutes at 400° and then reduce heat to 350° for last 45 minutes.)


Stewed Apples

Apples stewed in the traditional way give Marlborough Pudding an intense apple flavor. This method requires a bit more work and planning but it is worth it!

3 lbs. apples, peeled, cored and sliced.

Apple cider

  • One or two days before making Marlborough pudding, prepare the apples and arrange on a baking sheet to dry. The apples do not need to be completely dehydrated but should be dried out to allow them to soak up the apple cider.
  • Place in large saucepan and cover with apple cider. Bring to a boil, then reduced heat to gently reduce the cider by at least half. When the cider is reduced and the apples are cooked, puree the mixture and allow to cool.

In addition to being an essential ingredient for Marlborough Pudding, stewed apples make a wonderful warm topping for other dishes like pancakes or vanilla ice cream.


Puff Pastry

Makes two pastry shells

2 cups butter

3 ½ cups sifted flour

½ cup cold water

  • Blend 2/3 cup butter and 2 cups of flour.
  • Gradually stir in ½ cup cold water.
  • Roll out on a floured board. Dot with half of the remaining butter, sprinkle with ¾ cup of remaining flour, dusting some on rolling pin, and roll up like a jelly roll.
  • Roll this out again and repeat to use up the flour and butter.


Read Amelia Simmons’ American Cookery here.

Watch Thanksgiving in the Mill House here.

Whisking the eggs to make Marlborough Pudding

Mrs. Prescott uses a birch bark whisk to beat eggs for her Marlborough Pudding.

Published November 20, 2022.