It is super icy here today, so it made me think of this funny video. Poor penguin. That’s a tough crowd.
Oh, how I love Plum Pudding.
Moist, packed with fruit, spices and a hint of stout, served warm with a heap of brandy butter melting over it. It’s da bomb.
I’ve been making plum puddings for over 20 years now, and while I have found some really good versions, I cannot say that there is THE ONE, yet.
This recipe comes awfully close to perfection, though.
My friend Tim, from the Contrast Podcast, shared his family’s recipe for plum pudding when he knew I was searching for the best.
Per Tim, regarding this Plum Pudding:
“It’s not properly aged until 5 years and is utterly delicious at 10! I also recommend keeping a slice in the fridge for emergencies …”
Here is a photo Tim sent me of his emergency slice, which he believes is at the 4 year stage right now and a mid brown shade. He says when it’s coal colour throughout you know it’s going to be perfect.
I like that idea of the emergency slice. We all need one of those just in case!
So, back to the recipe.
It makes two plum puddings, which is a bonus. And, even though Tim recommends a long aging, I made the recipe last summer and served one of the puds for Christmas only 4 months later.
The Plum Pudding was brilliant, even in its infant stage. I cannot wait to try the second one this Christmas.
225g (8oz/2 1/4 cups) self-rising flour
2 teaspoons ground mixed spice
1 teaspoon salt
1 lb (450g) shredded suet (you can substitute butter, but try to get the suet if you want that authentic flavor)
225g (4 1/2 cups) fresh white bread crumbs
450g (2 cups) dark brown sugar
450g (3 cups) raisins
450g (3 cups) golden raisins (sultanas)
450g (3 cups) currants
100g (2/3 cup) mixed candied peel
100g (2/3 cup) glacé cherries, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and grated
6 eggs, beaten
150ml stout or brandy
30ml black treacle (molasses)
Grated zest and juice of 1 orange
Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
1/4 cup brandy, to flambé
Brandy Butter, to serve (recipe follows)
Note: I added 1/2 cup of slivered almonds since my husband loves nuts in his plum pudding.
1. Butter 2 (1.5 liter) pudding basins.
2. Sift flour into a bowl with the mixed spice and salt.
3. Stir in the suet, breadcrumbs and sugar, then add the dried fruit, candied peel, cherries and the carrots. Stir well to mix, then add the eggs, stout, black treacle and the orange and lemon rinds and juice. Combine thoroughly.
4. Divide the mixture between the two basins and press down well. Cover with circles of buttered greaseproof or waxed aper, then cover with foil and tie securely with string. You can check out the technique here.
5. Place each pudding in the top of a steamer or large stockpot fit with a steaming rack. The pot should be half-filled with gently simmering water. Cover with lid and steam for 8 hours, topping up the water as necessary.
6. Remove the puddings from the pan and discard the foil and greaseproof paper. Let cool and then wrap in fresh greaseproof paper and a double thickness of foil.
7. Store puddings in a cool, dry place until you are ready for them. Steam again for 2 to 3 hours before serving.
8. Heat 1/4 cup brandy, pour over top of plum pudding and ignite. Bring to table flaming.
9. Serve warm with brandy butter.
Each pudding serves between 12 to 16 people
8 oz butter, softened
2 cups sugar
3 Tbs brandy
Nutmeg, to grate
1. Beat all ingredients together with a mixer. Grate some nutmeg over top.
Of course I need to play one of Tim’s fabulous songs from his band, Harold’s Leap.
It is somehow impossible not to smile while listening to Jelly Baby Heaven.
Harold’s Leap-Jelly Baby Heaven
Check out Harold’s Leap on Facebook, where you can link to buy their music.