Monday, March 1, 2010

Quebec Part II: Pouding Chômeur

A Quebecois classic: a slice of pouding chomeur with homemade ice creamNo Quebecois winter meal would be complete without a simple conveyance for maple syrup.

My dad grew up in eastern Ontario, in sugar shack country. The most common applications of maple syrup in his home were pouring over pumpkin pie and cornbread, or, if he was especially well-behaved, as a dip for white bread. These dishes win for most direct conveyance of syrup to mouth without drinking from the bottle, but I need something (slightly) more refined.

My Quebecois dessert of choice is pouding chômeur. "Chômeur" means unemployed. Here it functions as a substantive, so this is "unemployed person's pudding." "Poor man's pudding" is a more natural sounding translation. Whatever you call it, it's a fantastic, unadulterated way to enjoy maple syrup.

A simple batter of creamed butter and sugar, eggs, flour, and milk is spooned into a baking dish filled with maple syrup and cream. The batter looks like islands on a lake. Once cooked, the islands expand through the baking dish and cover the syrup entirely. The syrup thickens, partly by reduction and partly from mixing with the batter.

Once the top has browned thoroughly, squares are cut from the cake, and the maple syrup is ladled over them. Even though the dish is extremely rich, it benefits hugely from the presence of ice cream.

Ricardo of Food Network fame has a good recipe here.


  1. I also had this while I was in Quebec (a sugar shack near the place provided the maple goodness) and it was incredible poor man's pudding!

    yum yum.

  2. Quebecers have the best ways to consume simple sugars.

    Examples: sugar pie, which is like pecan pie, without the pecans; maple syrup frozen on snow; toffee, which I was shocked to learn is from Quebec (apparently a sixteenth century nun set molasses in the snow to attract young natives to her school).

    Sugar, pork, cheese, beer. God bless Quebec.

  3. sugar pie was really good too !

    and oh my @ the nuns ! :o