Codfish Pudding | Peter Pan

Just always be waiting for me.

I reread Peter Pan by JM Barrie, a book I loved as a child, a couple of years ago; it was just as sweet and funny as I remembered, but it’s now layered by my adult experience. There’s some unfortunate misogyny (poor Wendy), and now knowing that it’s about the death of a child, much of it is just so unbearably sad.

But from unbearable tragedy comes a charming and awfully big adventure, and I made a recipe to match. This is equal parts British nursery food for darling little children and the worst insult to effeminate one-handed pirates.

I based my dish on this recipe from Cook it Simply with several adjustments in ingredients and cooking method (Do I look like I have suet? Or a pudding basin? But I got through it, oh the cleverness of me!). The result was like a crustless mini quiche – super tasty, and I think the lemon zest brought out the pleasant fishy flavor and brightened it several shades above stereotypically tasteless nursery fare.

It was very good warm the night of, my kids loved it, and, because I am a monster who eats straight from the fridge, can offer that it was even good cold the next day.

Codfish Pudding

Adapted from Cook it Simply

  • 1 pound skinless cod, sliced into small cubes
  • 1 stick butter, melted
  • zest of one lemon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • fresh cracked pepper
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 slices bread
  • handful parsley

Heat oven to 350° and grease a muffin tin.

Combine cod, butter, lemon zest, salt, pepper, eggs, and milk. In a food processor, blitz bread and parsley to fine crumbs. Stir into cod mixture.

Divide evenly between muffin cups. Place the muffin tin on a large rimmed baking sheet in the oven, and add water to the baking sheet to about three quarters full.

Bake for one hour (start checking at 50 minutes, it’s fine for the tops to brown but if they start getting too done cover with foil) until the mixture is fairly solid. Remove to a rack and cool 15-20 minutes.

Gently remove each pudding, I spooned around the rim to loosen it and used two spoons to lift it to the plate. They’ll get less delicate as they cool.

Garnish with a little extra chopped parsley and serve warm, or enjoy later room temp or even cold.

Recipe for Fiction Kitchen Podcast Episode 45: PETER PAN, in which Carrie and Diana discuss the novel and various adaptations. Diana dreams of cakes, Carrie gets emotional, and there’s pretend feasts, medicine, panpipes and nursery food to go around.

Lovely artwork by Renae De Liz