Maple Pudding from Outlander book A Breath of Snow and Ashes

Maple Pudding for Valentine's from ABOSAA

“Dinna fash yourself, Sassenach,” he said, more gently. “I didna mean it that way. Here, Mrs. Bug’s brought ye something tasty, I expect.” He lifted the lid off a small covered dish, frowned at the substance in it, then stuck a cautious finger in and licked it.

“Maple pudding,” he announced, looking happy.

“Oh?” I had no appetite at all yet, but maple pudding sounded at least innocuous, and I made no objection as he scooped up a spoonful, guiding it toward my mouth with the concentration of a man flying an airliner.

“I can feed myself, you kn—” He slipped the spoon between my lips , and I resignedly sucked the pudding off it. Amazing revelations of creamy sweetness immediately exploded in my mouth, and I closed my eyes in minor ecstasy, recalling.

“Oh, God,” I said. “I’d forgotten what good food tastes like.”

“I knew ye hadn’t been eating,” he said with satisfaction. “Here, have more.”

I insisted upon taking the spoon myself, and managed half the dish; Jamie ate the other half, at my urging.

A Breath of Snow and Ashes, chapter 64, "I am the Resurrection, Part 2"

Maple Pudding

At first glance, this passage doesn't seem romantic enough for a Valentine's post, but it's from one of my most beloved chapters in the entire Outlander series. Diana touches on so many different types of love: romantic love, familial love, love for children of the heart.

If Ian had been around, I'm sure love for pets, and all creatures, would have also made the list.

And besides, nothing says love like ending a meal with one dish and two spoons...except maybe sharing the spoon too.

Maple Pudding Spoon

Cornstarch is not truly authentic here, as it was used primarily as a laundry starch until the mid 19th Century. Mrs. Bug would have most likely used flour, but I chose cornstarch for a couple of reasons:

  • Pudding made with flour has a different texture and a duller appearance compared to that made with cornstarch. I've made a lot of pudding in my time, and I prefer the batches made with cornstarch.
  • The food world is in the middle of a gluten-free craze just now, and I get requests for GF recipes everyday.  I am pleased to post this recipe that everyone can enjoy without having to make any alterations.

If you prefer to avoid cornstarch, or would just like to try the recipe the way Mrs. Bug would have made it, check the notes below the recipe for substitutions.

Eggs and Cream

What is authentic is the amount of cholesterol in this recipe. Mrs. Bug would have used eggs, butter and cream liberally in all of her cooking, and I followed her lead here.

However, as the French know, (which is why most of them stay so fit despite their gastronomic indulgences), a little goes a long way. You really don't need more than a 1/2 cup serving of this creamy treat to feel satisfied, and leftovers keep well in the fridge for a few days.

Maple Pudding Cooling

As for the plastic wrap on top of hot pudding, I don't use this technique often, but I always use it to prevent a skim forming on my puddings and custards. Most chefs do. If you have concerns about the chemicals in the plastic leaching into the hot food, you can use wax paper, but be warned - it's a lot messier.

Or, you can learn to love the skim  - a lot of people do - and let the pudding cool without covering it. The skim acts as a great barrier for a topping of whipped cream.

Maple Pudding

Show/Hide Comments


07 Apr 2015 - 4:26pm


I cook most of my puddings in the microwave, so there's no chance they'll stick to the pan, and so I won't have to stand there and whisk and whisk and... I'll experiment with this one, to get the time and power levels right, then get back to you.


Sounds great! Thank you. I don't have a microwave, but I know a number of fans will love your tips!

09 Feb 2015 - 2:45pm


My husband is a fan of maple syrup on his pancakes, waffles and french toast and we have a maple muffin recipe that we pull out now and then. I will be adding this recipe to our file and will have to try it on the 14th. Thanks so much for all you do!

09 Feb 2015 - 3:30pm


I've been looking for a sweet finish to our Valentine's meal and I think this is it. I especially love the idea of garnishing with the smoked whiskey sugar - another great recipe. Thanks and enjoy your own Valentine's Day as well!

09 Feb 2015 - 4:29pm


Dear Theresa, Thanks for another wonderful recipe! I'd really like to try this recipe (as I've had many others!) except for one huge problem... I live in Argentina, and maple syrup, is impossible to get. Do you think I could possibly substitute the ms with anything else? Honey, molasses? Thanks!


Mariana, I suggest using brown sugar to make Butterscotch Pudding instead. The method is a bit different, so I suggest using this recipe from one of my favourite pastry chefs:

09 Feb 2015 - 5:27pm


Sounds yummy! My women's group is having a pot luck tonight and I was wondering what to make! Thanks so much, yoshimi

09 Feb 2015 - 7:25pm

Kathy C

I often make cooked pudding. I avoid both the plastic wrap and the skin by putting the pot of cooked pudding in a cold water bath and stirring the pudding as it cools. It doesn't take long to cool, and the pudding is smooooth and skin-free. I'm looking forward to trying this recipe.


That's a great method, Kathy! Thanks for sharing.

09 Feb 2015 - 8:20pm

Lucia D'Angelo

I love all maple recipes so far, so I'm eager to try this one. My dad used to take us to Curries Ice Cream on the edge of Griffith Park in Los Angeles, and my earliest memories are of those little Maple Leaf Sugars on top of my vanilla scoop. Thank you Theresa!

09 Feb 2015 - 10:42pm


I'm definitely making this for our dessert after we have Roger & Bree's Pizza for Valentine's Day! YUM! I can't wait!

09 Feb 2015 - 11:50pm


OMG! I am so trying this!

12 Feb 2015 - 6:44pm


Yummy! I'm making this for my women's group this Monday, thank you!! ms.yoshimi

13 Feb 2015 - 7:03pm

Lily Bhavani

Absolutely gonna make this for tomorrow! We have a large jug of maple syrup brought to us by friends from their farm in Maine; with the kids and grandkids rarely around now, it doesn't get used for pancakes much. And we just started milking our sheep for the year (and it is very creamy) so coupled with our chicken eggs... Slainte~


Here's a recipe from a trusted source that includes a coconut milk variation at the end. It should be easy to adapt to this recipe. Good luck!

13 Feb 2015 - 7:58pm

Kathy Poynter

Would almond, coconut or cashew milk work instead of whole milk? Also, do you know of a non-dairy substitute for the heavy cream?

13 Feb 2015 - 9:52pm


This might sound crazy, but I am an absolute maple fiend (going sugaring in the Adirondacks in upstate New York in a couple of weeks) and am vegan, and would love to make this. Obviously, it wouldn't be historically accurate, but are there any vegan subs for the eggs?


Not at all! You can actually make a delicious pudding by simply omitting the eggs, which thicken slightly, but also add richness and gloss. There are lots of eggless pudding recipes on the web. I might increase the cornstarch by a teaspoon or two, but no other changes to the recipe are necessary.

13 Feb 2015 - 11:20pm

Adele Needham

I am SO sorry we are still on a post- Christmas diet. But Easter? Mothers Day? Looking forward to trying this yummy sounding receipe!


Good for you for sticking to it! The recipe will be here when you need it...

14 Feb 2015 - 1:03am

Pat Nichols

Curious as to whether there are any substitutes for the dairy? Sounds so delicious as it is, I almost hate to ask, but trying to stay away from dairy... Blessings from Victoria, BC


There's a coconut oil and milk version at the bottom of this recipe:

14 Feb 2015 - 1:55am

Cynthia Gast

This sounds really wonderful! I'm wondering about the butter, though. Do you soften it or melt it before you stir it in with the vanilla? Or is the mixture warm enough that it will melt as you stir?


The recipe should read "room temperature butter." The cooked pudding is definitely hot enough to melt that. Thanks! I'll edit the recipe.

14 Feb 2015 - 7:20am

Shawn Bird

Ooooh Theresa! My maple loving man would love this! Sadly with my broken ankle I can't drive without him to sneak out and buy the ingredients in time for tomorrow's Valentine meal, so I'll have to save it for our anniversary. As to substitutions, when I lived in Finland, potato flour was the starch of choice in thickened soups and puddings. Would you use it in this recipe? Would you making any alterations to the method?


I hope it heals quickly, Shawn! Someone just left a comment on FB about using potato starch and said it worked other subs needed.

Shawn Bird

Excellent. I find potato flour is better for things that are refrigerated than corn starch is. It stays thick but doesn't become solid. I'm hobbling on 2 feet with crutches these days, so that's progress!

14 Feb 2015 - 10:50pm


Just got through making this and OMG - this is wonderful. Just tasted the couple of spoonfuls that didn't fit in the bowls. Wonderful warm, I am sure that it will be even more wonderful cooled with whipped cream. Can't wait for dinner guests to arrive.

14 Feb 2015 - 11:46pm


Made this for our Valentine's dessert and it was amazing! Thank you for sharing your talents with all of us.

15 Feb 2015 - 12:51am


As always simply brilliant. Made it with my daughter for suprise dessert tonight (Valentine's day) and everyone loved it. I didn't have vanilla, thought I did, but still tasted great. I made whipped cream and sprinkled some cinnamon on top. My son dubbed it pancake pudding. :)

15 Feb 2015 - 7:59am


Hello! By vanilla, do you mean white vanillasuggar, or powdered black vanilla? Thanks!

16 Feb 2015 - 1:53pm


OH MY GOD!! I made this over the weekend and it was amazing! The kind of desert you want to eat slowly and savour every spoonful!

19 Feb 2015 - 11:27pm


Made this for our Outlander fan group today. It was absolutely delicious. I did have a bit of trouble trying to combine all that cornstarch and only two egg yolks (and make something smooth). It was more the consistency of Playdoh. Did I miss something?


If it's too thick, add a bit of cream, stir it to a smooth paste, then add the rest of the cream.

21 Feb 2015 - 1:59pm

Susan McDonald

This was great!! I made it for our Valentine's dinner, and it will be a favourite in the house. Thanks for the great recipes, inspired by my favourite books. I'm re-reading the books right now, and had just finished reading about the maple pudding when I remembered you had the recipe here. It was bloody marvellous! Thanks again.

10 Apr 2015 - 8:46pm

Lucie Biesenthal

Incredible pudding. Lovely natural food. I no longer live in the Northeast but buy maple syrup gathered and made there. Hearkens me to my childhood. Makes me cry (as does all of Outlander). DG makes all the things that make us truly human come pouring out of us. Love her.

22 Apr 2015 - 5:29pm


Now, to be contrary, you posted a gluten free recipe, but I need a corn free recipe. My youngest has a corn allergy, but we can all eat all the wheat we want. Go figure. Do you have a good source for maple pudding with flour?

04 Oct 2015 - 5:06am


My family has had this for major holidays (or when someone is really ill needing to get sustenance) my whole life (I'm 60). My family would add 1 cup of orange juice to it, and the rhine in the bottom of the container I like it without, a bit more vanilla added. My family ws from Ireland/ N. England.......and was called the Whiteside's Custard.


Very interesting! And it was made with maple syrup?

22 Dec 2015 - 5:18pm


I've made this three times- for Valentine's Day, Thanksgiving, and a work potluck and everyone has raved about it! For the potluck, I served it as "maple pudding shooters" in small cups with whipped cream and strawberry on top, sprinkled with Sugar in the Raw. Looked great and made for nice little portions. I want to try it with a sprinkle of sea salt next time. A lovely pudding, especially for maple lovers. Thanks, Theresa!

11 Feb 2016 - 10:44pm

Carol Mackey

A must-do recipe-especially for my youngest son, who loves anything maple (they all do, really). Question: would the old coffee-cum-spice grinder turn pearl tapioca into "flour"? Thought I'd try it, although I do have cornstarch--_and_ potato starch , as one of your readers mentioned. Just seem to be on a tapioca kick these days . . . =D Love that you are reposting some of your great recipes as you put the finishing touches on your (eagerly awaited) cookbook!!


I don't know, Carol. Tapioca starch is very fine, like talc. That would work. I'm not sure ground tapioca will work the same. You could always try...

13 Feb 2016 - 11:01pm


I just made this for my family's Valentine's Dinner. OMG! This is sooo good!

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