Montreal Eats

March 2010

Pouding chômeur (poor man’s pudding) is a dessert that originates from Quebec Canada and uses maple syrup as a key ingredient. I’ve been told that It was created by women factory workers in 1929 during the Great Depression and consists of a mixture of flour, water, brown sugar, and other inexpensive ingredients that were common during the era.

Every French Canadian woman I’ve talked to is familiar with this recipe, it was known as something you could make inexpensively and easily because maple syrup was cheaper and more plentiful than sugar. Now maple syrup is the priciest ingredient in the recipe and chefs are adding this old fashioned pudding into their menus in the best restaurants in Quebec.

Pierre-Luc Chevalier, chef and owner of La Cantine, a 1970s kitsch-inspired restaurant, located in Montreal’s Plateau neighbourhood, makes the dessert in his restaurant, and remains faithful to the brown sugar base—though he has added fleur de sel to give it a salty caramel flair. (source: McLeans Magazine)

If you can’t get to La Cantine any time soon and want to make this delicious dessert, here’s the recipe my mom gave to me years ago. I have to confess that I had forgotten how awesome this dish was and I only just tried out the recipe out last month after reading the McLeans article. My craving is satisfied and now you can also try out this wonderful Quebecois treat!

Pouding “Chomeur” (Poor Man’s Pudding) with Maple Syrup Sauce


2 cup Flour

4 Tsp baking powder

½ tsp salt

¾ cup sugar

4 tbs butter/margarine

1 cup milk


2 cups brown sugar

1 tbs flour

1 3/4 cups water

1/4 cup Maple syrup


  • Sift flour, baking powder and salt. Cut in butter/margarine. Add

    milk promptly and handle the dough as little as possible.

  • In a deep casserole mix brown sugar and flour together

    then add the boiling water and maple syrup and mix well to-

    gether (until sugar is diluted).

Drop dough into the syrup (DO NOT MIX) and bake at 375F for 30 to 40


Spoon small portion of cake into a dessert bowl (very sweet, so you only need a small portion, honest!)

Serve warm and topped with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.

Here’s a video I found that features a more sophisticated version of this recipe from Montreal’s Jardin Nelson restaurant.

I would love to hear about some of your favorite dishes you’ve come across in your travels! Tell us all about the dish and where you discovered it in the comment section below.

For more delicious posts from those who happily become food obsessed each Wednesday, be sure to visit Wanderlust and Lipstick’s Wanderfood Wednesday!

4 thoughts on “Montreal Eats

  1. What a great recipe! Will have to try it soon 🙂 Looks tasty and sticky … yum. My very favourite dish of all time that I found in my travels is Cashew Chicken & Vegetables (Thailand). I’d order it extra spicy and it was absolute perfection.

    1. Cashew Chicken mmmm, my mouth is watering! Two of my all time favorite things in one dish and made just the way I like it extra spicy, how awesome is that:)

  2. Sounds really yummy – it’s so interesting to read about what people came up with when times were tough. Sometimes the outcome is so wonderfully delicious. Thanks for sharing with us!

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