Make Ahead

Tomato Pudding

April 19, 2010
1 Ratings
  • Serves 6 (or one)
Author Notes

Like so many of you, I'm now mother-less. And I miss her most when I am in the kitchen. My mother died five years ago, just four hours after her own mother. It was a difficult summer (understatement of the century?) and the culmination of two funerals in two days only made it more surreal. Once I was back home, and gave in to my grief, this was the dish that made me reminisce - simultaneously happy and so, so sad. My mother made this recipe all the time - I'm sure if asked to describe her comfort food this would be it. Great brunch dish, served with runny-yolked eggs and a salad. Equally fantastic as a side dish with roast chicken or simple roast meats. - MrsWheelbarrow —MrsWheelbarrow

Test Kitchen Notes

This recipe rolled off without a snafu. Admittedly a fan of Mrs. Wheelbarrow, I was nevertheless delighted by the instant success of her mom's recipe. I was concerned about a cup of brown sugar, but it works. I drained a can of San Marzano tomatoes and pureed them in the blender, resisting the urge to add fresh garden thyme. As she recommended, I roasted a chicken and served a green salad. My only correction would be that it serves 4, not 6. Too scrumptious! - Lizthechef —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • 2.5 cups cubed bread, crusts removed
  • 4 ounces unsalted butter
  • 1.5 cups tomato puree*
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon Coleman's dry mustard
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  1. *Tomato puree is available with other canned tomato products. I use my home canned tomatoes, drained, and then pureed in the blender.
  2. Preheat oven to 350. Place a pyrex or ceramic loaf pan in the oven and melt the butter. Toss the bread cubes in the butter and gently stir to coat.
  3. In a saucepan, add tomato puree, brown sugar, water and mustard. Bring to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes, to melt the sugar. Taste and correct for salt & pepper.
  4. Pour tomato sauce over the bread. Do not stir. Bake for 1-1/2 hours uncovered.

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19 Reviews

Fred H. March 14, 2021
My aunt(mothers sister)used to bring tomato pudding to every Thanksgiving and every Christmas dinner it was the item I looked forward to the most with the possible exception of my Mothers stuffing. Since her death I have had it from other sources...not the same. She lived to 99 and my Mother to 98 so needless to say we enjoyed them many, many times. Cant wait to try your Mothers!
MrsWheelbarrow March 16, 2021
I hope it will match your memory! It's a lovely recipe.
Elyse C. January 27, 2013
I remember well your mother's tomato pudding.. She shared "her" recipe with me... From Joy of Cooking. Glad to see you have made some updates to it!
Wild M. November 26, 2012
I learned about this dish from a song and went on a search for more information. The song is by Jeff Daniels and it is here:
I also had a traumatic life experience of losing both my parents within a week. This was 10 years ago, and I still miss them both!! It is always good to keep the memories alive through the taste buds!
MrsWheelbarrow November 26, 2012
Thank you so much for posting this video. It's made my day. I'm such a fan of Jeff Daniels! I'm glad we all share the love of Tomato Pudding.
pauljoseph August 27, 2010
Excellent recipe
drbabs May 2, 2010
Dear Mrs. Wheelbarrow,
I made this today, and since I was bringing it to a friend's house, I scooped out the center and put it into a serving dish and ate the burned edges myself. :) I can totally see how you could sit down and eat it alone--it's delicious but in an unexpected way--bready, buttery, tomatoey, sweet--a combination of flavors and textures that screams comfort food. And it was so easy to make--I wish I had doubled or tripled the recipe!
MrsWheelbarrow May 2, 2010
DrBabs, You've made my day. In our house, the burnt edges were the best part. It's very unexpected, that's the perfect word for it. Thanks so much for the comment. MrsW
Teri April 29, 2010
This made me weepy and hungry, two of my favorite emotions. Do you think I can use drained canned tomatoes that are then pureed? I don't think I'll easily find tomato puree on Tokyo grocery-store shelves.
MrsWheelbarrow April 29, 2010
Yes, I think that drained canned tomatoes would be fine. That's what I use now! (Sorry about the weepy!)
dymnyno April 19, 2010
I love the impish sparkle in your mother's eyes!
Lizthechef April 19, 2010
My mother's maiden name was "Coleman" so this was the ONLY dry mustard in our house. Still my favorite -
WinnieAb April 19, 2010
While the story that goes with this recipe makes me really sad, this tomato pudding looks delicious and unlike anything I have ever seen. I hope that sharing her favorite comfort food with us does bring you comfort Cathy. ps. my mom/grandmother inspired recipe involves Coleman's dry mustard too...haven't posted it yet, but I will.
WinnieAb April 19, 2010
pps I love the portrait!
MrsWheelbarrow April 19, 2010
Thanks, Winnie. What is it about Coleman's? For the longest time, I didn't know there was any other kind of dry mustard.
Lizthechef April 19, 2010
My Mom would have loved this dish - her kid does too...
drbabs April 19, 2010
You lost your mother and grandmother on the same day!? How incredibly sad. I wish you good memories. I love the picture. In it, you can really see what a sweet person your mother was.
MrsWheelbarrow April 19, 2010
It was a very odd day, indeed. Glad you like the portrait - it hung in my grandmother's house for years. Mom was 16 when it was painted.
TheWimpyVegetarian April 19, 2010
I love the portrait too! I'm so sorry you had such big losses the same day. And I understand. My mom and grandmother died in the same month. Very painful time, but maybe even more so for my aunt who lost her mom and only sibling the same month. And the recipe - sounds like a terrific comfort food. It's a great example of the healing power of food.