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Mary Litchfield Grimwood's 1890 English Plum Puddings

Courses: Dessert
Serves: 6 people

Recipe Ingredients

4 1/2 cups 281g / 9.9ozAll-purpose flour* - sifted
4 teaspoons 20mlBaking powder
1 teaspoon 5mlBaking soda
1/2 teaspoon 2.5mlSalt
2 teaspoons 10mlCinnamon
1 teaspoon 5mlAllspice
1/2 teaspoon 2.5mlCloves
1/4 teaspoon 1.3mlNutmeg
1   Muscat raisins - seeded
1   Seedless nectar raisins - - (golden raisins)
1   Sultanas
1   Currants
2 cups 292g / 10ozFinely chopped apples
1 1/2 cups 165g / 5.8ozChopped black walnuts and - pecans; mixed
1 lb 454g / 16ozGood beef suet - - ground by butcher
2 cups 320g / 11ozLight brown sugar
6   Eggs - well beaten
1 1/2 cups 355mlButtermilk
1 cup 146g / 5.1ozSoft fresh bread crumbs - - from homemade-type

Recipe Instructions

*Plus additional flour for dusting fruits and adding to batter if needed.

Grease and flour six 1-pound coffee cans or pudding molds.

Sift the 4 1/2 cups flour with next 7 dry ingredients into a large bowl. In a separate bowl, dust the raisins, currants, apples and nuts with 2 tablespoons additional flour.

Mix together the suet, brown sugar, eggs and buttermilk. Add the suet mixture gradually to the sifted dry ingredients, mixing well. Add fruits and bread crumbs; mix until well-blended. (If batter is not stiff, stir in additional flour as needed.) Divide mixture among prepared cans or molds, filling them half full. Cover each with a double sheet of waxed paper and tie down securely.

Pressure cooker: Place hot water in the bottom of a large pressure cooker/canner, using enough to reach a level just below the bottom of a steaming rack. Place cans or molds on the rack. Cover the pressure canner and steam the puddings 20 minutes with the vent tube (or petcock) open. Then attach the automatic pressure control or close the petcock and cook for 50 minutes at 10 lbs. pressure. Remove the pressure cooker from heat. When pressure is completely reduced, open and remove the puddings from the cooker.

Regular steamer: In a large stockpot or boiling water bath canner, add water to come up just below the bottom of the steaming rack. Add puddings, cover and steam for 6 hours, adding water as necessary to keep from boiling dry. It helps if the lid is tight-fitting; if not, try putting a weight on the lid to keep it down, or cover the pot rim with a strip of aluminum foil to help the lid fit more tightly.

To serve, slice and re-steam in the top of a double boiler over simmering water until hot, about 1 hour. Serve with hard sauce and whipped cream flavored with brandy or the Wilson family's favorite sauce (see recipe).

This pudding will keep for months in the refrigerator or may be frozen up to one year.

Eulalie Jeter's grandmother's recipe in Special Writer Marilyn Kluger's 11/25/92 "A Dickens of a Delight: Christmas Plum Pudding is a Holiday Treat Straight from Merry Olde England" article in "The (Louisville, KY) Courier-Journal."

Woman's Day Magazine


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