“Sailor’s Duff is a steamed pudding. I typically make it on big occasions like Christmas when I have time,” Elizabeth Kunetz said.
“It is a family recipe from my father’s side of the family,” the Marietta resident said. She is married to Bill and they have two children, Caroline and Michael.
The recipe originates from Kunetz’ fraternal grandmother, Dorothy Moody Littlehale.
“My dad’s mother made the recipe for my dad when he was growing up. When my parents married, my grandmother gave it to my mother because it was one of my dad’s favorite recipes,” she explained.
Kunetz’ mother, Martha Brent Moody, also received a copper pan from Littlehale as a young bride.
“(My grandmother) helped my mother a time or two,” she said.
When Kuntez married, her mother gave her a book of family recipes that included Sailor’s Duff.
“My mother gave me my own copper pan,” Kunetz said.
Although Kuntez speculated that sailors made the dessert because one of the key ingredients, molasses, is common in trade, she said, “I can’t begin to tell you the reason why it’s called Sailor’s Duff. I don’t know for sure where the name came from.”
The steamed pudding, similar to a moist cake, takes effort. A mold is placed in a pan of boiling water requiring attention for steaming process. “(Sailor’s Duff) takes a bit of time to make,” she said.
Served with a custard-like sauce, the sauce has to be made the minute before the dessert is served because it separates quickly and is not tasty the following day.
“My kids love (Sailor’s Duff) and I serve it around holiday times as a special dessert,” Kunetz said.
“Sailor’s Duff is so unique. It’s not like any other dessert that I have had anywhere else,” Kunetz said.
Sailor’s Duff Mix together the following ingredients: 2 Tablespoons melted butter 2 Tablespoons brown sugar ½ Cup baking molasses 1 egg beaten Add the following last to the butter mixture, mixing well: 1-teaspoon baking soda dissolved in ½ cup boiling water 1 ½ Cups flour ¼ teaspoon salt ¼ teaspoon ginger DIRECTIONS Pour into well-greased mold. Set mold in a partially filled pan of boiling water on stovetop. Continue to periodically check water level in pan and refill with hot water when necessary. Steam for 1 to 1 ¼ hours. Serve with sauce. Sauce Tip: Sauce does not keep well. It should be made right before serving. 2 or 3 eggs 1 Cup powdered sugar 1 Cup whipping cream Vanilla Mix together eggs and sugar. Add whipping cream and vanilla to taste. To thicken use more powdered sugar. If using 3 eggs add more sugar.