Tracker Pixel for Entry

​Plum Pudding a Christmas Tradition

All About Food | December 23rd, 2014

When it comes to re-gifting I think the number one item would be fruit cake. That boat anchor of technicolor dried fruits and maraschino cherries bound together in a molasses-based cake mixture that has a nuclear half-life. The problem with fruitcake, outside of being inedible, is people get it confused with plum pudding, a rich dense alcohol soaked masterpiece that adorns every British Christmas Day table.

It is a bit late in the day to make one for this Christmas, well that is if you want the full on effect, as the pudding for this Christmas was made last year and has been macerating all that time while soaked in brandy. But alas, do not fret as there are many decent “puds” available online these days and could make it to your table for this holiday season.

But I am going to share a timeless recipe from the immortal James Beard, a master of the classics. I am sure Julia had one as well but I have made this one many times over and it is the bomb, quite literally. When you warm it up and splash a bit of brandy on it -- whomp, it lights up and burns an intense blue flame.

After the holiday rush at the restaurant I would gather a few of the crew together and we would set about making a couple hundred individual-sized plum puddings for the next Christmas. We had a nice cool larder off the side of the kitchen where we would store them, each in an individual bowl on a rack I designed. Every month we would “feed them” a wee bit more brandy to keep them moist. When time came for serving we would steam them, give them a fresh dousing of brandy and set them alight at the table, served with a rich custard sauce.

There are no plums in a plum pudding, which doesn’t really make much sense unless you consider that raisins were referred to as plums back in the day. Not sure why, but that is beside the fact now. What makes the pudding so intense is the mélange of warm spices and the richness of beef suet.

Plum Pudding

Ingredients:

Fruit mixture:
1 pound seedless raisins1 pound sultana raisins½ pound currants1 cup chopped candied peel1 teaspoon cinnamon1/2teaspoon mace½ teaspoon nutmeg¼ teaspoon ground cloves¼ teaspoon allspice¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper1 pound finely chopped beef suet (see your local butcher) 1 ½ cups cognac.

Mix together and place in a bowl and cover tightly, refrigerate for 4 days adding a ¼ of cognac each day

Pudding mixture:1 ½ pounds fresh bread crumbs1 cup scalded milk1 cup dry sherry12 eggs well beaten1 cup sugar1 teaspoon saltcognac

Soak the bread crumbs in the milk and sherry, combine with the beaten eggs and sugar. Add the fruit mixture to the eggs and breadcrumbs, add the salt and mix together thoroughly. Butter a large heatproof bowl and fill with mixture until 2/3 full. You can use smaller bowls and make two puddings. Cover with foil and steam for 6 to 7 hours. Uncover and place in a 250 degree oven for 30 minutes. Add a splash of cognac, cover and store in a cool place.

To serve, steam for 2 hours, unmold, sprinkle with sugar, add heated brandy and ignite. Whomp! Watch out for your eyebrows.  

Recently in:

By Kris Gruberperriex1@gmail.comJason Sole may have an impressive resume as a Criminal Justice professor, past president of the Minneapolis NAACP, founder of movements and initiatives, national restorative justice trainer, author,…

By Michael M. Miller  michael.miller@ndsu.eduGermans from Russia Heritage Collection, NDSU Libraries, Fargo,…

Sons of Norway, Kringen Lodge #4-25, is a fraternal organization dedicated to the preservation and promotion of Norwegian culture.Sentrum på 722 2nd Ave N, FargoKringen Kafe er åpen for Kaffe og Bakverk mandag-fredag 9.00 til…

By Sabrina Hornungsabrina@hpr1.comOur opinion: Let our character and characters define usIt’s no secret that North Dakota is one of our nation’s least visited states, in fact I can think of a handful of folks I’ve chatted…

By Ed Raymond  fargogadfly@gmail.com Will We Soon See a Documentary Called Requiem For a Lightweight? It’s plain to see The Divided States of America still has two political parties. One is called the Democratic Party. The other…

Well shiver me timbers. After weeks of sampling some of the finest drinks in F-M from more bars than we could shake a belaying pin at, the results of High Plains Reader’s 6th Annual Cocktail Showdown are in! For nine weeks,…

By Sabrina Hornungsabrina@hpr1.com“If you had talked to me five years ago or even a year ago and told me I was gonna be a chef in Fargo I probably would have looked at you pretty funny. It's wild where food is taking me in…

By Sabrina Hornung  sabrina@hpr1.comAmanda Standalone is a force, in fact one could say she’s an old soul with the Midas touch of…

By Greg Carlsongregcarlson1@gmail.comThe many media attempts at Frank Herbert’s epic space fantasy “Dune” speak to its lasting appeal and its potent impact. David Lynch’s movie, defended by the filmmaker’s most ardent…

By Sarah Noursacha1689.sc@gmail.comOn Sunday, November 7th, the Spirit Room will hold a reception for “Contaminated Nightmares,” their current exhibition of mixed-media pieces by local artist and musician Adam Bursack. This…

By Kris Gruberperriex1@gmail.comDrag shows, for me, feel like a celebration of artistry, esthetic, music, and camaraderie. With a dash of confetti thrown in.The local drag community is a close-knit family. Giving back to affiliated…

by Kris Gruberperriex1@gmail.comAdam Quesnell's last show at The Cellar beneath the Front Street Taproom in Fargo was in early September of 2018. He was embarking on a seminal move from Minneapolis to LA. As always, his comedy was…

By Kris Gruberperriex1@gmail.comSpring is here (mostly), and our area is buzzing with people eager to get back out and about -- many newly vaccinated and feeling a bit safer. Partnering with Jade Events, Fargo Brewing is just…

by Laurie J Bakeremsdatter@gmail.com Part of modern yoga is participating in the world around us. We live in a time of upheaval in society and nature, and of great suffering in humans of all ages. Most of us perceive this suffering…

By Theresa L. Goodrichsubmit@hpr1.comIt was day ten of our epic southwest road trip and we’d made it to Arizona. After camping in Oklahoma, the Texas Panhandle, and New Mexico, we were exhausted, but fortunately our night in…

by Annie Prafckesubmit@hpr1.com17 June 2021On June 19th, from 12pm to 7pm, nonprofit Faith4Hope Scholarship Fund is hosting their first ever Juneteenth Freedom Celebration at Lindenwood Park in Fargo. It is free and open to the…