Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Plum Pudding for Christmas

Before I forget what I did here, I better write it down, because it was delicious.
I happen to have a pudding mold (of course I do) but this is unnecessary, you can use a heatproof bowl with a tight lid


  • 3 c lightly packed down crumbs from good white bread with the crusts on (about one half of a 1 lb loaf of bread, crumb-ified in the food processor)
  • 1 c each: black raisins, golden raisins, and prunes, chopped in the food processor
  • 1-1/3 c dark brown sugar (I like Muscovado sugar from India Tree)
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp mace
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 c butter, melted
  • 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/8 tsp almond extract
  • 1/2 c bitter orange marmalade (seville orange marmalade from Trader Joe's works great)
  • 1/3 c spiced rum
  • 1/2 c cognac, heated on the stove before attempting to flambe
  • Sprigs of greenery like juniper and holly, optional
Toss the bread crumbs in a large mixing bowl with the prunes, raisins, sugar, cinnamon, mace, nutmeg, and salt.

Then toss with the melted butter, and finally with the eggs, almond extract, orange marmalade, and rum.

Pack the pudding mixture into the greased steaming container (either a pudding mold with a tight fitting lid, or a bowl with a tight fitting lid) and cover with a piece of greased foil and snap the lid over the foil. Set the container in a stock pot, or whatever you will be steaming in, and add enough water to come a third of the way up the sides of the pudding. Cover the steaming pot tightly and bring to a boil, lower the heat to a simmer, and steam about 6 hours. Check every hour or so to make sure you're not losing too much water and top off if necessary.

Don't unmold it yet, it can be kept in the fridge about 4 months to mature. I made mine 2 days before and it was still delicious. Day of, bring it out of the fridge and allow it to come to room temp before unmolding the pudding. I decorated mine on a cake plate with holly and juniper, and set it out for decoration.

When ready to flambe, heat the cognac in a saucepan on the stove until hot but not boiling and pour the hot cognac into a sturdy pyrex measuring cup with a spout. Grab a long match and head to the table, hitting the lights on your way.

Pour some of the cognac on the pudding and ignite with the match, then pour the rest of the cognac on the pudding, allowing the stream to ignite. Don't worry if the flames crawl up into the pyrex, just keep pouring steadily- when it's empty, it will continue to burn inside the cup, but will soon go out- or you can blow it out like a big baby (me).
The holly catches fire. No biggie.