A drizzly Sunday calls for some home cooking. A big Sunday dinner and a delicious pudding, covered in custard is just the ticket for warming you up on a damp, miserable day like today. The 1950s must have been the boom time for custard and other sweet dessert treats, after years of rationing and frugal dinner planning. Many of my magazines have full page, colour adverts for Bird’s Custard on the back:
What I like about these adverts are the recipe suggestions they include. I did actually make one once. It was for Hot Spot pudding, or something like that and it involved mixing breadcrumbs in with the custard, lots and lots of ground almonds and splodging chocolate buttons on the top. I liked it’s stodginess, but it was too much for Aidan. It did weigh rather heavily on your stomach! I like the look of the ‘King-Of-The-Castle Custards’ above. They strike me as the kind of thing that would NEVER work for me, ending up in a wibbly wobbly mess on the plate.
That advert’s well out of season, but I still like the look of those sauces. Almond or Chocolate nut sauce anyone? They’d go just as well on top of a sponge cake or apple crumble as they would on top of fruit or jelly.
Bird’s also made blancmange puddings:
So many 1950s adverts seem to involve the words ‘Now _____ than ever!’ Whether it’s better, creamier, larger, smaller, more delicious; every item claims to be better than before. The marketing is much more direct and obvious than nowadays. No obscure symbolism for those ad men!
All of this has got my mouth watering for my own Sunday dinner… I think I’ve got some Angel Delight somewhere, that might just have to do!
From Woman’s Own, Thursday September 2nd, 1954:
“Fluffy Top Custard
2 level tbsps Bird’s Custard Powder
4 level tablespoons Sugar
1 Egg White
1 pint Milk
Mix the custard powder with 2 tablespoons of the milk. Boil rest of milk with 3 level tablespoons sugar. Whisk the egg white very stiffly, fold in 1 level tablespoon sugar, and drop, in spoonsfuls, into the milk. Simmer slowly and turn egg whites until poached. Remove the egg whites and keep them warm.
Pour boiling milk on to the blended custard and stir until thickened. Pour into dish and serve with the egg whites floating on top. Sprinkle with toasted coconut. Simply wonderful! But remember – Bird’s, and only Bird’s, has the delicious, delicate flavour that makes custard dishes so very good.”
From Woman’s Own, Thursday November 19th , 1953:
1 pint double-thick Bird’s Custard (made without sugar)
4 oz. Grated Cheese
2 teasp. Grated Onion
1 teasp. made Mustard
Salt, Pepper, Tomato Slices
When custard is thick, remove from heat and stir in cheese, salt, pepper, mustard and onion. Line buttered pie dish with slices of tomato, pour in the cheese custard and top with more tomator slices and grated cheese. Brown under grill or in hot oven.
Serve hot, spooned over slices of toast, and see what a delicious, smooth savoury Bird’s Custard makes. And the cost? This dish serves six, for just about fourpence a person!”
So, which is it for you – sweet or savoury? Me, I’m voting sweet all the way. Though I may be tempted to try the savoury one day…