Puddings as a rule either are boiled, steamed or baked. For boiled puddings, care should be taken that the saucepan be kept boiling or the water will get into the pudding and spoil it. For pudding cloths, use materials such as linen or cheese cloth. After using, the cloth must be thoroughly washed in plenty of water with a little washing soda, but on no account use soap, and see that the cloth is perfectly dry before putting it away. Many puddings are lighter and better steamed, and then instead of the cloth only a piece of Criscoed paper is required, twisted over the top of the basin or mold. Very light puddings, such as custards, should be placed in a steamer. Most of the steamed puddings mixed a little softer, are excellent baked in a pudding dish.
In steaming puddings keep them at a uniform heat all the time, and be careful not to lift the lid off the pan for the first half hour. All farinaceous puddings should be cooked well, as then they are easier to digest. Cornstarch must be well cooked, from eight to ten minutes. Mold for jellies or blanc-manges should be well rinsed with cold water before using. Batters must be well beaten and allowed to stand for thirty minutes or longer before cooking, because the starch in the flour swells, and the batter will therefore be lighter. Batter puddings should be put into a quick oven. Puddings composed principally of milk and eggs should be very gently cooked, as strong heat will cause them to curdle.
In stewing fruit, prepare syrup first. Bring to boil, lay fruit in, and simmer gently. Souffles should be very light and spongy. Eggs form a large part of souffles, more whites than yolks are used and the former are beaten to a stiff froth. All souffles should be served quickly. Omelets are composed mainly of eggs. They can be savory or sweet. If over-cooked an omelet will be tough. To prevent milk running over when it comes to boil, put spoon in saucepan. Never leave spoon in saucepan if you wish the contents to cook quickly, and in any case a metal spoon never should be allowed to stand in a boiling saucepan containing fruit or any acid.