Christmas Plum Pudding

Why no plums, you may ask? Plum pudding dates to the 17th century and came into its own in the 18th century, when the word “plum” was used to refer to raisins.

ksu_folder A family recipe provided by Jennifer Kiel of Washington, DC, from her mother-in-law’s collection, started in Kent, Ohio.

Christmas Plum Pudding

One cup hot milk
One-half cup cooky crumbs
standing time ten minutes

Four eggs
one-fourth [cup] brown sugar
one-half cup finely ground suet
three-fourths cup sifted flour
one-half tsp. salt
one tsp. cinnamon
one-fourth teaspoon each mace, nutmeg and cloves
three-fourths cup each seedless raisins, chopped figs, candied cherries and dates
one-fourth cup each finely chopped pecans, candied orange and lemon peel and citron
three-fourths cup cognac or grape juice
Steam: three and three-quarter hours
Serves: fifteen or more

Pour hot milk over the crumbs; let stand. Beat the eggs until thick and lemon colored. Gradually beat in the brown sugar. Stir in the suet; blend thoroughly. Sift the flour, salt and spices. Mix with the fruit, tossing well. Combine with the crumb and suet mixture, blending thoroughly. Add the cognac.

Pack into an oiled mold. Cover top tightly with foil; bind with cord. Place on a rack. Add enough boiling water to come up one half the depth of the mold. Cover; boil for three and three quarter hours, replacing the boiling water as needed. Remove; cool. Wrap in foil.

Store in a cool dark place for three to four weeks ot ripen and mellow. At intervals, moisten with cognac and sherry. When ready to serve, steam for an hour. Unmold.

If desired, decorate with a hard sauce, foamy sauce or pour one half cup of heated rum or cognac over the pudding and set aflame.

Hard Sauce

Cream one half cup butter, one and one-half sifted confections’ sugar, two tsp. vanilla or cognac and a few grains of nutmeg.

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