History Byte – Beer Pudding Anyone?

Next time you host a dinner party and serve Ale Sangaree’s, why not serve a Beer Bishop for dessert?  Known as Kaltschalen in their native Germany, beer puddings became popular in England and North America towards the end of the 19th century with the waves of German immigrants and introduction of German style beers.  Kaltschalen were sometimes known as ‘bishops’ in the English language and were a type of cold soup consisting of fruit, bread and usually (but not always!) alcohol.  One such recipe is for the Beer Bishop, from The Flowing Bowl: When and What to Drink by William Schmidt – published in 1891.

Pumpernickel is grated on a grater and put in a tureen; mix with it one-fourth of a pound of powdered sugar, one-fourth of a pound of choice raisins, a teaspoonful of powdered cinnamon, an unpeeled lemon, cut in pieces without the seeds; add a quart of white beer or lager(Franziskaner), and serve.

Though described as a soup, the bread quickly absorbs the beer creating a texture more akin to a pudding.  The white beer mentioned in the recipe refers to beers brewed with wheat alongside the barley malt.  Franziskaner beer is a wheat beer brewed in Munich, Germany.  While this recipe is not for the gluten intolerant, it is a tasty, albeit different kind of dessert on a hot day.  Black Creek Historic Brewery does not currently have a wheat beer in production, so try Toronto’s Amsterdam Brewery’s 416 Urban Wheat as a substitute!

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