The photo below shows my grandmother's and my dad's ration books issued in October 1939 just a few weeks after war was declared. They were kept carefully by a family friend in almost pristine condition.
As someone who was used to cooking from scratch I found it quite easy to manage on the rations and I enjoyed using my imagination to come up with interesting meals. During the experiment I spent very little and even lost a bit of weight. Maybe I'll do it again one day.
Duke pudding was one of the recipes I used during our time on rations. It's from Marguerite Patten's We'll Eat Again. I make it quite often because it so easy, incredibly frugal and really tasty. For a pudding I think it is pretty healthy. Practically all you need are some bits of old bread and a carrot.
Take 2 cups of breadcrumbs (about 6 oz) I used the crusts and a bit of leftover toast shown above. Soak them in water for a few minutes and then squeeze them dry with your hands or by tipping into a sieve and pressing with your hands. Put the bread in a bowl. Beat all the lumps out with a fork.
Add 2 tablespoons of very soft fat or margarine (I used butter), 2 tablespoons of sugar, 3 tablespoons of any dried fruit, a grated carrot and a teaspoon of mixed spice. Mix well.
Mix 1 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda with about a couple tablespoons of milk or water. Blend into the bread mixture and then pour into a greased shallow baking dish.
Sprinkle with a little sugar and bake for 30 minutes at 180°c (160°c fan).
Nice with custard.
Duke pudding is surprisingly light and delicious. This recipe doesn't make a huge amount but it is quite easy to increase quantities.
Although I haven't tried it I can see no reason why some grated or chopped apple would not work mixed in with the other ingredients. Sliced banana would be good too although not very wartime. Cocoa powder is another addition worth considering. I may try a mincemeat version near Christmas.