Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Festive Plum Pudding (Traditional Christmas Pudding) : American Version

The only indulgence during Christmas is great dinner and a special desert. In England this Plum Pudding served on the table and make an entertainment to whole family as the puds can be put on flame, created by burned liquor. This year we want to make our very own pudding, since we could not find this lovely cake in any supermarket in US.

The puds actually steam cake which rich with dry fruit and nuts. It took at least 5 hours to steam in steady or about significant shorter time if we do in pressure cooker. But unfortunately the one we've bought during Thanksgiving shopping frantic hasn't got low setting. So we ended up using as normal steamer.

The difficulty of this recipe remain on the key ingredients called suet or dehydrated fat. I have been around town to find traditional butcher, asked if they got fat left over from beef or lamb. But none of them got it as the Food Safety Authority said that any bits from animal should be go to garbage. I got the answer from local butcher that most of fat now went for producing biofuel.

We replaced suet with vegetable shortening which is actually even made this pudding vegetarian (the only animal trace would be eggs) and totally organic. We were bit exciting about making the puds and decided to double the recipe sent by Jean.

I have to admit we've already eaten some puds even before Christmas coming. Guess who did it?

Corbridge Festive Plum Pudding

Dry and fresh fruits
100 gr dry cherry
100gr dry cranberries
150gr golden raisin
150gr raisin
200gr dry figs
200gr dry dates
200gr prunes
200gr mixed apricots & jumbo california peaches
(Cut all those fruits in small piece)
3 little carrots, peeled and grated
2 cooking apple, peeled cored and cut in small cubes
2 bananas, peeled and cut in small cubes
Grated rind of 1 orange and 1 lemon

Flavor (options but taste good if you put it)
50ml gr Grand Marnier
100ml gr Brandy
200ml Oatmeal Stout (or any dark Stout like Guinness)

Dry ingredients :
230gr plain flour
2tbs baking powder
1 teaspoon each of salt: mixed spice; ground ginger; ground cinnamon; grated nutmeg.
230gr fresh breadcrumbs
460gr shredded suet (or vegetable shortening)
230gr dark brown sugar
30gr mixed peel (candied fruit peel -we were using citrus and lemon)
60gr shredded almonds

Wet ingredients (In a separate bowl mix)
230gr black treacle ( we mixed 150gr corn molasses and the rest is maple syrup)
8 eggs
a teaspoon vanilla essence
juice of the orange and lemon.

How to do :
1. Mixed together all the dry fruit and fresh fruit in large bowl with the flavor mix for several hours to let the liquid absorbed by fruits. Covered with clear film and put in the fridge.

2. Mixed the dry ingredients until well mix.

3. Beat eggs with molasses and maple syrup one in a time then add the vanilla essence and the lemon juice. Add into the dry ingredients.

4. In the biggest bowl you can have, take the drunk fruits from the fridge, together with the mixed ingredients. I suggest to add it little by bit to see how the consistency is. The level we were looking for is moist, but still having the texture.

5. Prepare the pudding basins (we use several pyrex bowl) with butter then pour the mix into the bowl. Leave the room to expand.

6. Covered with the aluminum foil to stop the water getting into the basin. Tied with string (we used rubber bands -not recommended).

7. Steam steadily for 5 hours. Let it rest and wrap for further store.

The step by step method of making Christmas pudding can be viewed at Flickr Set from minor9th

How to serve Plum Pudding :
Reheat the pudding by steaming at least 3 hours. Put cream or brandy butter on the top. This video show how to make brandy butter.

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