20 September 2011

A Recipe Request...

...from Amy.

Amy sent us this:
Thanks for featuring this cookbook Lucindaville. I remember it being a fantastic read and a great snapshot of some of the more popular recipes of the past. In there is a very special Christmas Plum pudding recipe. My ex's mum used to make this every Christmas and extra for me to last until July! In the break-up I unfortunately lost my pudding privileges and access to the recipe. There are no words to describe how amazing this pudding is! I think many women in my mum's generation might have experienced the same feeling I get from the first bite of the pudding, when they saw Richard Chamberlain take his clothes off in The Thornbirds way back then. So could I ask *pretty pretty please* for you to share the Plum Pudding recipe from the book? If anyone gets past the astounding number of ingredients required it really is worth all the effort!

We do so hate to lose recipes in a break-up. So here is Colleen's Christmas Pudding recipe.

Christmas Pudding

4 cups raisins
6 cups sultanas
1/2 cup chopped almonds
4 tablespoons chopped orange peel
4 tablespoons chopped lemon peel
1 cup glace cherries, chopped
2 cups brandy
450 g (1 lb) butter
1 cup dark brown sugar
8 large eggs
1 cup apple puree (or apple sauce)
1/2 cup orange juice
6 cups fresh soft bread crumbs
2 cups plain flour
2 tablespoons ground ginger
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons ground nutmeg
2 tablespoons ground allspice
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder

Chop the fruit and almonds and orange and lemon peel, dust lightly with a little flour, and put in a basin overnight with the brandy poured over them.

Cream the butter and sugar, then beat in the eggs one by one, getting each one well absorbed before breaking in another. The mixture will look very curdled by the time the last egg is added, but this is quite normal for rich dark cakes and puddings, and as the flour is added the curdling disappears.

To the creamed butte/sugar with the eggs beaten in, add the apple puree and beat well, the orange juice and beat well.

To the liquid mixture, add the breadcrumbs a cup at a time, mixing well.

Sift the flour together with the spices, salt and baking powder, then stand the mixture aside in a basin.

To the liquid and breadcrumbs, add 2 cups of the soaked fruit, stirring well.

Add 1/2 cup of the flour, stirring well.

Add 2 more cups of the fruit, then 1/2 cup of the flour, and continue in this way until all the fruit and flour have been incorporated.You may find that this is impossible toward the end to mix with any other implement than your hands, so use your hands.

Make sure that you put into the pudding all the liquid that might have run out of the fruit soaked overnight. You don't want to lose any of the brandy!

Spread the pudding cloth, sprinkle it with flour except for the outer margins, then pile the pudding mixture in its center. Tie it up tightly and well with string.

Place the mixture tied in its cloth in a very large pot of boiling water, put the lid on the pot, and boil the pudding for 8 hours. As the water evaporates, replenish it with more boiling water - never add water which isn't boiling, and never let the pudding go off the boil.

It is best to make the pudding at least two weeks before Christmas, to permit it to mature.

You can add small silver coins to the mixture which is traditional for Christmas, but make certain they are silver coins, and do not use any of the modern Australian five and ten cent pieces which are amalgams of metals other than silver.

The pudding is served with brandy butter and hot custard.

When you make this, Amy, do send us photos. Merry Christmas!

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