To Make a Carrett Pudding – Week 5 2020


Welcome to Week 5 (already!!!) of the 2020 Great Colonial Cook Off. Thanks to each and every one of you who have cooked along with us this summer. We’ve been blown away by your enthusiasm, creativity and sense of humour. You really are amazing!

After last week’s pie extravaganza, we figured we’d go for something simpler and a little less labour intensive. This week’s recipe – Carrett (carrot) Pudding – is a 17th century classic. Every cookbook we’ve seen from this time period includes at least one, but more often several versions of this dish.

Sometimes it’s baked in a shell of puff pastry. Sometimes it’s not. Sometimes the carrots are grated. Other times they’re boiled. Usually, it’s made with carrots, but we’ve also seen versions using beets or parsnips. In this 1682 recipe, Giles Rose, Cook to Charles II, provides a master recipe for “any root pudding”:

Pare off some of the crust of Manchet bread and grate off half as much of the rest as there is of the root, which must also be grated. Then take half a pint of half Cream or New Milk half a Pound of fresh Butter Six new laid Eggs (taking out three of the Whites) mash and mingle them well with the Cream and Butter. Then put in the grated Bread and with near half a Pound of Sugar and a little Salt ; some grated Nutmeg and beaten Spice and pour all into a convenient dish or pan buttered to keep the ingredients from sticking or burning; set it in a quick oven for about an Hour. And so have you a Composition for any Root Pudding. The Sauce is a little rose-water with Butter beaten together and sweetened with the Sugar Caster.

Sometimes it’s sweet and served as a dessert. Sometimes it’s savoury and served as a side dish. And sometimes, it’s a weird combination of the two:

Take the quantity of three large carrots & boil them tender in Beef broth, then beat them in a stone mortar to a paist, sweeten it with half a pound of sugar or more, some salt, the greatest part of a nutmeg, a little orange flower water, then grate a penny loaf and sift it through a cullender, then put a pint of cream scalding hot to your bread, and when it is a little cool, mingle six eggs well beat, and some put it all into the mortar together to beat then put it into a Dish with puff paste and see Bake it.

Most carrot puddings are enriched with eggs and cream, but we’ve also found versions that use butter, suet and/or bone marrow, like this 1616 version:

Take some Carrots and boyl them soft and mash them through a sive, and mix it with Crumb’d white bread and Cream and Eggs and some sack and sugar and the juice of a Lemon & sweet Beef marrow or suet cut fine and either bake or boyl it.

Above: A recipe for Carrot Pudding from A Sermon Book 1616-17 Dorothy Phillips (source Folger Library)

Our modern version comes courtesy of It’s perfectly ok to cook it exactly as it’s presented below, BUT we’re hoping some of you will use it as a framework to create your own custom carrot pudding. Try all carrot, or parsnip, or beet …. or even sweet potato? Flavour it with your own combination of spices. Go sweet …. or savoury. If you’re boiling your veg, experiment with your boiling liquid. Bake the filling on its own, or use it to fill a puff pastry crust. Serve it plain or with Giles Rose’s Rose Water Sauce.

The main thing is to have some fun with this recipe and, of course, share a photo of your results in the comments thread of the recipe post on the Colony of Avalon’s Facebook page. We can’t wait to see what you culinary geniuses come up with. All photos posted before 11:59 PM, Tuesday, August 11, 2020 will be eligible for the weekly and grand prize draws. Good luck!