1 lb. sugar
1 pint cream
1 lb. flour
1 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 c. brandy
Beat six eggs very light, sift into them a pound of loaf sugar powdered, and a light pound of flour, with half a grated nutmeg, and a glass of brandy; beat all together very well, add a pint of cream, pour it in a deep dish, and bake it–when done, sift some powdered sugar over it.
From The Virginia Housewife by Mary Randolph, 1860 edition.
Comment: The “powdered sugar” called for here is not the very fine product sold under that name today. In the 19th century sugar was sold in solid form, usually large cones, as that was the form in which they came from the manufacturing sugar mills. These were often too large for most customers to store conveniently so city merchants might break pieces off to sell separately, but this still required the cook to subdivide it further.
A hammer and chisel might be used to knock off chunks of various sizes, but if the sugar was intended for a recipe such as this these chunks would themselves have to be processed with a grater or a mortar and pestle. Grating gave a result much like plain granulated sugar of today, while the mortar and pestle could grind to whatever degree of fineness was called for.
Here the sugar that goes into the pudding itself can probably be of the granulated sort, while a finer grind, like powdered sugar of today, would be used for the final topping