With the Holiday Season fast approaching there is still time to create traditional desserts to delight the palate. I always wonder why folks run out and buy those horrible store bought plum puddings or fruit cakes when it is so simple and a lot more tasty to make their own. It really isn’t as time intensive as it seems on paper. This plum pudding is easy and delicious and for those who enjoy holiday baking this can be done while you are preparing your other yummy treats.
- 900 g dried fruits plum, currents, cranberries, raisins
- 200 ml brandy or apple cider
- 110 g plain flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- 2½ tsp mixed spice
- 1 tsp ground nutmeg
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- 170 g suet or butter
- 170 g light muscovado sugar
- 55 g flaked almonds omit if necessary, hazelnuts or walnuts
- Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
- 2 tbsp marmalade
- 225 g fresh white breadcrumbs
- 4 eggs
- 300 ml ale or stout
- Butter for greasing
Put the fruit in a bowl with 3oz of brandy or apple cider, cover and leave overnight.
Whisk flour, baking powder, salt and spices, stir in the butter or suet, fruit, sugar, lemon, marmalade and breadcrumbs.
Beat the eggs, then stir in, along with the ale.
Butter two 30 oz pudding basins or large stainless bowls , fill with cake mix and cover with a layer each of greased paper and foil, both pleated in the middle to allow for expansion. Secure with string.
Put a metal jam-jar lid or tart tin in the bottom of a large pan, put the basins on top and pour in boiling water to come a third of the way up the sides. Cover, simmer gently for six hours (top up the water as necessary), then remove from the heat and set aside to cool. When cold, remove the paper and foil, poke holes in the top of the puddings and add more brandy or apple cider.
Tightly wrap in plastic wrap and store in a cool, dry place.
On serving day wrap pudding in a double layer of plastic wrap and simmer for two to three hours. Turn out, flame with warmed brandy and serve with brandy butter ( 1/2 cup soft butter, 1/4 cup soft icing sugar and a splosh of apple brandy beaten until smooth). Also excellent served with your favourite custard sauce.
Nothing beats a traditional plum puddings over the holiday season. It's rich deep flavour pairs great with many red wines, port or brandy.