cookbooks

Plum Pudding. Recipe

Plum Pudding, also known as Christmas Pudding, is a traditional British dessert that has been enjoyed for centuries. Its rich and fruity flavors make it a perfect treat for the holiday season. The first documented reference to Plum Pudding can be traced back to the 17th century, and it has since become a staple on Christmas tables throughout the United Kingdom.

Fun Fact: Plum Pudding does not actually contain any plums. The term "plum" was used in the past to refer to any dried fruits, such as raisins and currants, which are key ingredients in this decadent pudding.

Now, let's dive into the recipe for this delightful dessert!

Ingredients:
- 1 pound of currants
- 1 pound of raisins
- 1 pound of shredded suet
- 1 pound of flour (or half a pound of bread crumbs and half a pound of flour)
- 1/4 pound of candied orange and lemon peel
- A little citron, thinly sliced
- 1/2 pound of moist sugar
- 6 eggs, beaten
- 1 glass of brandy
- Ginger, nutmeg, cloves (season to taste)
- Sifted sugar or whipped egg whites (for serving)

Instructions:
1. Start by combining the currants, raisins, shredded suet, flour (or bread crumbs and flour mixture), candied orange and lemon peel, citron, and moist sugar in a large mixing bowl. Mix well to ensure all ingredients are evenly distributed.
2. Once the dry ingredients are combined, stir in the beaten eggs and a glass of brandy. This will help bind the mixture together and add a delightful boozy flavor to the pudding.
3. It's time to put those muscles to work! Beat the pudding mixture well for approximately half an hour. This step is crucial in ensuring that the ingredients are fully incorporated and that the pudding has a rich and dense texture.
4. After beating the pudding, let it stand for some time. This will allow the flavors to meld and develop before cooking.
5. Prepare a pudding basin by greasing it lightly to prevent sticking. Transfer the pudding mixture into the basin and give it a gentle pat to remove any air pockets.
6. To cook the Plum Pudding, place the basin in a large pot and fill it with plenty of water. The water level should reach at least halfway up the sides of the basin.
7. Bring the water to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cover the pot with a lid and let the pudding steam for six to seven hours. Steaming the pudding for such an extended period allows the flavors to intensify and the pudding to become moist and delicious.
8. Throughout the steaming process, it's essential to check the water level periodically and top it up if necessary. You don't want the pot to run dry as it can damage the pudding.
9. Once the cooking time is up, carefully remove the pudding basin from the pot and let it cool slightly. Use a sharp knife to loosen the edges of the pudding, then invert it onto a serving plate.
10. To serve, dust the Plum Pudding with sifted sugar or top it with whipped egg whites beaten to a froth. This will add a beautiful touch and enhance the appearance of the pudding.

Now that you have learned how to make a mouthwatering Plum Pudding, you can bring a traditional taste of British Christmas to your table. This indulgent dessert pairs perfectly with a dollop of brandy butter or a generous drizzle of warm custard. Enjoy slicing into the rich and fruity goodness, savoring each delightful bite.

Similar to Plum Pudding, there are other traditional festive puddings enjoyed around the world, each with its unique flavors and ingredients. For example:

- Figgy Pudding: A traditional American pudding made with dried figs, molasses, and warming spices like cinnamon and nutmeg.

- Tiramisu: An Italian dessert that combines ladyfingers dipped in coffee and layered with mascarpone cheese, cocoa, and sometimes liqueur.

- Sticky Date Pudding: A popular Australian dessert made with dates and covered in a luscious butterscotch sauce.

- Black Forest Cake: A German dessert featuring layers of chocolate cake, whipped cream, and cherries soaked in kirsch (cherry brandy).

These desserts all share a love for rich, comforting flavors and a long history of being enjoyed during special occasions. So, why not explore these delightful treats and expand your dessert repertoire beyond the Plum Pudding?

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