Star Treck Diplomat Pudding (Lemon Bread Pudding)

Star Treck Diplomat Pudding (Lemon Bread Pudding)

For more than 300 years bread pudding has led a double life. Under its original name it is the plainest of family supper desserts—except when it makes the whole meal, and then it is nourishing and solid enough for the hungriest man. However, like hamburger, which is always listed on fancy menus as "Salisbury Steak/’ our good old bread pudding has another personality. When served at a formal dinner, or listed on an elegant menu, it is always known as “Diplomat Pudding.”

This posh and classy personality of bread pudding was born one night in the 19th century, in Washington, D.C., in the original White House of the United States. It was toward the end of a formal state dinner that a servant discreetly whispered in the ear of the First Lady the sad news of a minor disaster in the kitchen: The dessert had failed! Our gracious hostess (were Presidents of the United States ever married to any other kind?) rose to the occasion. She instructed the cook to take the bread pudding that was headed for the nursery, cut it into small portions and put a wine sauce over it. It was so well received that bread pudding has ever since been welcome in the finest of dining halls, provided that it remembers its manners and calls itself “Diplomat Pudding.”* There should be sufficient pudding for 6 to 8 people.

6 to 8 slices fresh white bread (6 cups loosely packed bread cubes)
4 tablespoons butter or margarine
3 1/2 cups milk
3 large or 4 small eggs
1 teaspoon lemon extract
3/4 cup sugar

Small saucepan for scalding the milk
10-inch frypan
2-quart baking dish with cover
Baking pan, about 2 inches deep, large enough to contain the baking dish Eggbeater or wire whisk

  • Our historical data banks from the 19th century are sadly incomplete on
    such subjects. If any reader has access to memoirs which can fill in the
    name and date, I would appreciate hearing from him or her.

What to do:

Cut the slices of bread, a few at a time, into 1/2-inch cubes, leaving the
crust on. Heat the butter in the frypan and fry the bread cubes, stirring
and turning them constantly until they begin to get golden brown. Put them
in the baking dish.

In the small saucepan scald the milk (heat it quickly and carefully,
stirring constantly, until it just starts to rise in the pan; then take it
off the fire immediately and continue to stir it for a couple of minutes).

Cool the scalded milk until you can stand a drop of it on the inside of your

Break the eggs into it and beat thoroughly. Add the egg-milk mixture to the
bread cubes. Let stand for about 15 minutes so that the bread soaks up the
liquid. Add the lemon extract and sugar. Stir well.

Cover the baking dish, set in a pan with warm water (the depth of the water,
with the baking dish’ in the pan, should be an inch or more) and bake at
325°F. for about 1 hour, or until a knife or skewer inserted in the middle
comes out almost clean.

This may be served with rum flavored whipped cream which the Enterprise crew generally prefers to the 19th century wine sauce.

Star Treck Official Cooking Manual