Did you know that “plum pudding” originally had nothing to do with plums at all? And there is nothing “trifling” about an English trifle, which is a tasty dish indeed. If you would like to honor Christmas tradition and try one of these delicious desserts this season, here is a step by step guide to producing two of the recipes for these most scrumptious delicacies.
What is called “plum” pudding is actually made with raisins. The raisins were only dubbed plums, because most puddings of the times were made using plums. This dessert is a light but rich and spicy concoction which is covered with a tasty sauce. It is prepared at least a day before serving it.
To get ready, you’ll need a pound of bread (stale is best), milk, eight eggs, currants, citron, raisins, flour, sugar and spices. Allspice may be used, otherwise use cinnamon, ground cloves, nutmeg and mace. To prepare this dish authentically, you must use wine and brandy both for the pudding and for the sauce. You will need a pound of beef “suet” — you can obtain this at a butcher’s, but you can use leftover roast that is close to the bone and mince it to a fine consistency. In accordance with tradition you need to scald a large cloth and flour it. This is where the pudding goes!
First you’ll soak the pound of bread in about a pint of hot milk. Set the preparation aside and beat eight egg yolks to a creamy consistency, (keep the egg whites aside and beat them until they are stiff) and roll a pound of raisins in flour along with cut up citron and currants. When the bread preparation is cold, mix it together with the eggs, half a pound of sugar, the fruits and suet, a cup of wine and of brandy, and the spices. When these ingredients are mixed, add the beaten egg whites and make sure the concotion is well blended. Next you will pour this mixture into your floured cloth. Tie the cloth up firmly. This will allow the pudding to cook inside of the cloth, which it should do for a recommended period of at least six hours before any sauce is added. The pudding will swell up inside the cloth. It can be covered with a large bowl while cooking.
There are a couple of different sauces you can make for your pudding, one is served warm and one cold. The cold sauce is made with a wineglass of brandy, cinnamon and nutmeg, half a cup of warmed butter, and two cups of powdered sugar. Blend the ingredients together and serve over the pudding.
The warm variety of sauce is cooked in a saucepan over low heat (you don’t want to boil it). In a bowl,cream a half cup of butter with a cup of sugar. Beat four egg yolks and add them to the creamed mixture. Add a cupful of heated cream, a pinch of salt and a glass of red wine or brandy. Beat the ingredients thoroughly, pour into the saucepan, cook and stir until it’s thick for pouring but not boiled. Pour over the pudding for the crowning touch!
Why not try this tasty traditional dessert this year? Family and friends are sure to be delighted!