Christmas Steamed Plum Pudding

Time: 7 hours plus several days to soak fruit

Music Selection: Yo-Yo Ma & Alison Kraus – Wexford Carol

Although this dish uses fruit that would not have been in a traditional pudding, the flavours remain true to a traditional steamed fruit pudding. “With thankful heart and joyful mind”, I think you will find that this recipe is worth the effort. While it does take a bit of planning, it is a superb Christmas day dessert!

Ingredients:

1 cup dried currants

1 cup dried prunes (plums) cut in small pieces

½ cup dried blueberries

½ cup dried cherries, cut in pieces

¾ cup sherry (pedro ximenez)

2/3 c flour

2 1/3 cup breadcrumbs (panko)

150 grams suet or (14 Tbsp frozen vegetable shortening that is grated while frozen)

¾ cup dark brown sugar (demerara)

1 tsp cinnamon

¼ tsp cloves

1 tsp baking powder

Grated zest of 1 lemon

3 eggs

1 medium apples, peeled and cut in small pieces or grated

2 Tbsp honey

½ cup vodka to flambe the pudding

Optional: Rum Sauce or boozy whipped cream (whipped cream with a few Tablespoons of liqueur like Grand Marnier or Advocaat)

Directions:

At least one (but up to 5 days) before you want to eat the pudding: In a large bowl that is heat proof, like pyrex or metal, mix the currants, prunes, blueberries, cherries and sherry. Cover and let sit for at least one day, but up to five days to marinate.

About 6 hours before you want to serve the pudding: When the fruit have steeped, prepare steamer (I like to use my crockpot on high) and fill to ¾ line if your bowl is in the steamer/crockpot.

In separate bowl mix fruit and all the other ingredients except vodka and rum sauce. Mix well. In the bowl that you will steam in, butter the bowl generously. Press the pudding down and then put on a cover – for the crockpot, I cover mine in foil then put the crockpot lid as mine fits together well. If you are using a steamer, you can also cover the bowl in foil or use its lid as long as it is heat proof. Option 1 – steam for 5 hours and then you can let it cool and put in fridge for a day or two until you want to serve it. On the day to serve, steam for a further 3 hours. Option 2 – On day you are serving, steam it for a good 6 hours.

Remove carefully from steamer. Remove foil/lid, and place a large plate or platter on it, and invert. Pour vodka all over the cake and light it with a match to flambe it!

Serve with Rum Sauce or Boozy whipped cream (whip one cup of whipping cream with 1 Tbsp sugar until stiff, then drizzle in 2 – 3 Tbsp of Grand Marnier or Advocaat). Happy Holidays!

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