1/2 c. rice
1 c. water
1 qt. milk
5-6 peach leaves
1/2 c. sugar
Boil a teacupful of rice in two teacups of water. When it has swelled so as to absorb all the water, add a quart of milk and five or six peach leaves and boil it until the rice is perfectly soft. Take it from the fire, remove the peach leaves, add a small piece of butter, a little salt, and three or four eggs, beaten with a teacup of sugar. Put it into a buttered dish, grate nutmeg over the top, and bake three quarters of an hour. Most people prefer this pudding cold.
From The Young Housekeeper’s Friend by Mrs. [M. H.] Cornelius, Boston, 1863
Comment: Rosewater is unusual today, fried parsley as a garnish is obscure, but if you want an ingredient which is completely unknown to the 21st century cook, the peach leaf surely qualifies. Ideally this should be a leaf of the early spring, just recently hatched from the bud, but apparently they were considered suitable for use at any time of year as long as they were still green. Why the leaf of the peach tree, and not the apple, plum or cherry? Beats the heck out of us, as we have been trying to grow peach trees for six years now and have nothing but dried up woody corpses to show for our efforts. We had in mind more the fruit of the tree than its leaves (peaches as sold in stores are a shame and a disgrace to the name) but in either case our efforts have come to naught.