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Emma Topping's Plum Pudding


Plum pudding doesn't necessarily contain plums, and it isn't a pudding as most Americans think of pudding. This traditional English Christmas treat is a steamed cake that most commonly contains raisins, as in this recipe, which also calls for other traditional plum pudding ingredients, such as beef suet, a product available from a local butcher. This dessert is best served warm.

  • Pudding:
  • 1 1/2 cups presifted all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup raisins (currants may be substituted)
  • 3/4 cup sour milk or buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup suet (beef fat), chopped finely
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon each of ground cinnamon, ground cloves and nutmeg
  • Pinch of salt

  • Hard sauce:
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon cream
  • 1 tablespoon presifted, all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Pudding: In a large saucepan, bring 6 cups of water to boil, then turn down heat to keep water simmering.

Coat a pudding mold or 2-quart Pyrex bowl with cooking spray.

Combine 1 1/2 cups flour, raisins, sour milk or buttermilk, sugar, suet, baking soda, ground cinnamon, ground cloves, nutmeg and salt.

Pour mixture into the pudding mold or bowl. Seal the mold or place a lid over the bowl, then place it over the simmering water to steam for 2 hours, replenishing water as necessary. Use a cake tester to check doneness.

When pudding is done, turn mold or bowl upside down and release onto cake plate.

Hard sauce: In a small saucepan, combine over low heat sauce ingredients. When sauce reaches pouring consistency, pour over warm pudding.

Thursday, December 18, 2003

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