Malva Pudding Picture: The Great South African Cookbook by Quivertree Publications
Winter puddings bring back sweet childhood memories. On cold rainy days my late grandmother loved making stewed fruit. While singing one of her favourite hymns, she would take out two small pots - one for the fruit, the other for the custard, and she would get busy while the off-key singing and humming continued.

Before long the dried fruits, now swollen, would be simmering in a sweet mixture of water, sugar and cinnamon which had already turned into a syrup.

She liked keeping things uncomplicated, especially when it came to her cooking. She believed in enhancing the natural flavours of whatever she was making.

The sweet aroma of cooked prunes, peaches, pears, nectarines and custard would permeate the house while the steam heated the kitchen.

After simmering the fruit for a few minutes, she would let the stew cool down. Then it was time to dish up, but not for me because I never liked stewed fruit. However, I love the scent and I love the memories it brings.

Winter desserts don’t just provide sweet comfort on a bitterly cold day, they also stir up childhood memories with every bite.

People usually stick to what they know when making winter puddings, going with recipes passed down from mothers and grandmothers.

There are many ways to reinvent classics with a touch of liqueur and a sprinkle of spice for a bit of a kick.

But classics like sago puddings, bread pudding and even the beloved malva, don’t always need fancy twists. And why would you, when these old time classics bring sweet comfort on a chilly day?

Keep it nostalgic and don’t skimp on the good stuff. Winter puddings are the ideal guilty pleasure, so spoil your guests with all their yumminess.

Cape Town-based cookbook author and self-confessed sweet tooth, Florence “Flori” Schrikker, 63, said there’s nothing like a sweet treat to round off a warm hearty meal.

“During summer all we want is ice creams and cold fruits to keep you cool, but winter time you want to keep warm.”

Schrikker’s winter must-haves are the traditional desserts she enjoyed as a child.

“Now is the best time to start making rice pudding, bread pudding and boiled pudding.

“I grew up with boiled pudding (also known as pot pudding); my mother used to make it all the time. It’s simple, you make it in one pot and serve it with custard.” 

Malva pudding

Servings: 6 | Prep Time: 15 mins | Cook Time: 45 mins | Skill Level: 1 (Easy)


4 eggs

2 cups sugar

150 g butter

2 tbsp apricot jam

4 cups fl our

4 tsp baking powder

4 tsp bicarbonate of soda

½ tsp salt

2 tbsp vinegar


2 cups sugar

2 cups milk

2 cups cream

1 cup water

125 g butter

1 tsp vanilla essence


Pre-heat the oven to 180°C. In a large bowl, mix together eggs, sugar, butter

and jam. Slowly add dry ingredients and then mix in vinegar. Pour into a

buttered baking dish and bake for 45 minutes.

Meanwhile, bring all the ingredients for the sauce to the boil, stir and remove

from heat. Set aside.

When the pudding is cooked, remove from the oven and pour sauce over.

Serve the pudding hot with homemade custard, or drown it in fresh farm

cream. Enjoy!

Recipe by Alex Lavaris found in The Great South African Cookbook by Quivertree Publications

The Great South African Cookbook by Quivertree Publications.