when it's time for Christmas pudding
There shouldn't be a Christmas without pudding, therefore steaming one for Christmas has become a tradition at our house. Warm notes of cinnamon, all-spice, nutmeg, rum, brandy, and whiskey are sure to bring a smile on everyone's face at the holiday dinner. A bite of the Christmas pudding takes one back to a time long gone. Like many, I love nothing more than an "old world Christmas" and this Christmas pudding evokes just that.
For the pudding:
1 1/2 cup golden raisins
1 1/2 cup dried plums, finely chopped
1 1/2 cup brandy soaked sour cherries, pitted (soak them at least a week ahead of preparing the pudding)
1 medium apple, cut into small cubes
the zest and juice of one orange
the zest and juice of one lemon
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1 Tbs all-spice
1 Tbs ground cinnamon
1 Tbs ground nutmeg
2 Tbs vanilla sugar
8 oz unsalted butter, shredded
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 cup milk
3 Tbs dark rum
3 Tbs brandy
3 Tbs rye whiskey
3 Tbs orange liquor
3 Tbs dark beer/stout
3 cups breadcrumbs
1/2 cup flour
brandy, rum, whiskey, or orange liquor
Make the Christmas pudding a couple of months ahead of Christmas.
In a large bowl combine all the ingredients for the pudding. Stir until well-incorporated.
Cover the bowl and refrigerate overnight.
Next day coat a large cone-shaped ceramic mold with butter. Cut a parchment paper circle big enough to fill the bottom of the mold, then press it firmly so it sticks to the butter.
Add the afore prepared pudding mixture on top of the parchment paper and pack it firmly.
Top with another parchment paper circle big enough to cover the pudding mixture completely, then cover the mold with aluminum foil.
In a large pot add a round cookie cutter or a canning jar ring large enough to accommodate the bottom of the pudding mold. Pour boiling water into the pot so that it comes half-way up the sides of the mold.
Cover the pot with a lid and steam the pudding on medium heat for five hours. Check the water level every hour and add more water as needed to maintain the initial level.
Once the pudding is steamed, let it cool off to room temperature and then pour 1/4 cup of brandy on top. Cover the pudding back with the parchment paper and refrigerate it until Christmas. Once a week add one tablespoon of brandy on top.
On Christmas day, place the pudding back in the pot and re-steam for another hour.
When ready to serve, remove the top parchment paper, overturn the pudding onto a serving dish, and remove the bottom parchment paper.
Take the warm pudding to the table, pour 1/4 cup hot rum, brandy, whiskey, or orange liquor on top and immediately ignite with a lighter. Allow for the alcohol to burn off, then slice.