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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Remembering Christmas Past : Plum Pudding

My daddy loved plum pudding and when I was a kid grandma would make this for him each and every year. I could never quite understand what all the fuss was about as there were so many delicious goodies to be had but to daddy Plum Pudding was the star. Plum Pudding if you are not familiar with is round, thick, sweet and delicious. With a strong history leading back to kings and castles the plum pudding was something all alike would partake in. I can remember grandma as she collected those coffee cans in order to prepare the families Christmas Puddin'

* Six (6) candied and sliced pineapple rings
* 1 lb. whole candied cherries
* 1 lb. raisins, dark and golden mixed
* 1 lb. dates, pitted and chopped
* 1 cup chopped citron
* 1/2 cup each chopped, candied orange and lemon peel

Put the prepared fruit into a large bowl.

* 2 cups sifted flour
* 1/2 cup white sugar
* 2 teaspoons cinnamon
* 1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 1/2 teaspoon allspice
* 1/2 teaspoon cloves

Sprinkle 1/2 cup of the flour over the fruit and set aside. In a second bowl, sift the rest of the flour together with the soda, salt and spices, and set aside.

* Three (3) eggs
* Juice of one lemon
* 1-3/4 cups buttermilk
* 1/2 cup oil
* 1/4 cup orange juice
* 1/4 cup brandy
Beat the eggs. Then add the buttermilk and remaining ingredients to the egg mixture, and mix together well. Now blend the liquid mixture with the flour mixture until it forms a batter.
Pour the batter into the large bowl containing your fruit. Use a wooden spoon to stir and mix well, making sure the fruit is well-covered with batter. (now here is something that I will never forget grandma using all those coffee cans) Grease 1 lb coffee cans and pour the mixture into each until they are about 3/4 full. Cover each one securely with foil, and place in a pot or steamer. Steam in any covered pot or canner, allowing the water to rise to no more than halfway up the filled tins.
Steam your puddings in consistently heated water for at least 4 hours. Check a tin periodically to note when the steaming is complete, when the dessert no longer appears creamy. When your plum pudding is steamed, remove it to a counter or dry shelf and let it cool for about 30 minutes.
While the puddings are cooling, cut up cheesecloth pieces amply enough to securely wrap around the individual puddings, and soak each cloth in brandy. (Grandma only did this step for the grown ups I believe she used a sweet syrup mixture for the kids but can not find her recipe to share)
Carefully remove each cooled pudding from its mold. Wrap each pudding in a cheesecloth. Over wrap each packet in aluminum foil, then set them to mature in a corner of your refrigerator for two weeks to a month. When you’re ready to serve, steam each pudding again for about an hour.

This is not my grandmothers recipe but did bring back many great memories. I found this recipe here

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