Cookbook Offers Recipe For Traditional
Old World Plum Pudding
Plum pudding is synonymous with Christmas feasting for many people. If you feel like a challenge, the following directions from an old cookbook can still be used.
To make the best plum pudding, the best materials are essential. The finer the liquor used, the more delicate will be the flavor. Plum pudding improves by keeping. For Christmas, the pudding should be made as soon as the new fruit can be obtained.
Chop one pound of beef kidney suet very fine, being careful to remove from it every particle of meat or blood. See also that it is free from strings. A little flour mixed with the suet will enable the cook to chop it much more finely and readily. Be sure that this flour is taken from the half pound of flour required for the pudding.
Mix one pound of currants, one pound of raisins cut in two or three pieces, one pound of sultanas [white raisins], one quarter pound of candied citron, two ounces of candied lemon peel, two ounces of candied orange peel, one pound of bread crumbs (but on no account use the crusts.) The bread must be crumbled very finely and to this end only stale bread can be used.
Add one half pound of flour, sifted, one half pound of light brown sugar, one half pound of “Foot,” or very dark sugar, eight eggs well beaten, one half a nutmeg, grated, one teaspoonful of mixed spice nad a tumbler of Jamaica rum.
An English tradition makes it necessary for every member of the household to stir the Christmas pudding. It is a wise legend, for the stirring is a heavy task, and the assistance of masculine muscles is a welcome relief. The caution is given to mix the ingredients gradually, and it is well to add them a little at a time, changing from one to the other, so that there may be no chance of all the fruit of one kind getting into just one part of the pudding.
One half tumbler of brandy may be used instead of the rum. Those who are opposed to using liquor in cookery may make an excellent pudding by using milk instead, but the pudding will not keep longer than a week. With rum or brandy, it will be good for six months after it is made, and will neither mold nor dry up if not used for a year.
Do not worry abut the pudding being stiff. It must be stiff in order to hold the immense quantity of fruit. It should support a spoon left standing in the center.
Butter a mold well; a quart mold works admirably. Put the pudding in to within an inch of the top. Cover it with white paper cut to fit. The paper should be buttered on the side next to the pudding. Then tie the mold in a cloth and plunge into boiling water. It must boil five hours. When the time is up, take the pudding out. Let it drain, but do not remove the cloth.
On the day it is to be served, put it again into boiling water and boil for one hour.
Put a sprig of holly from your decorations on top, pur brandy around the dish, set it aflame and serve!
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