Plum pudding, that traditional English holiday favorite, was originally plum soup - a combination of mutton stock and fruit (including plums, hence the name). By the 16th century, the soup had become a pie, complete with meat and suet, cooked in a rectangular shape to represent the manger of the Christ child. Puritan rulers declared this dish to be a bit too much and outlawed it, however the tradition was quietly passed on by people despite the ban and by the 18th century it re-appeared as the plum pudding we know today!
- 1/2 C bread crumbs
- 1 C hot milk
- 4 eggs
- 3/4 C brown sugar
- 1 C brandy
- 1/2 lb suet, minced
- 1 C flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground cloves
- 1 tsp nutmeg
- 1 C raisins
- 3 C diced, candied fruits
- 1/2 C chopped walnuts (optional)
1) Combine bread crumbs and hot milk.
2) Beat eggs and 1/2C brandy. Stir in suet and add to bread crumb/milk mixture.
3) Sift flour, salt and spices into another bowl and mix thoroughly with fruits. Stir in suet mixture and add the remainder of the brandy.
4) Turn into a 2 qt ovenproof bowl and cover top with foil. Place bowl on a rack in a big kettle and fill kettle with water to approx. half the depth of the mold. Cover and steam for about 4 hours, adding water as needed.
5) Remove bowl from kettle and remove foil. Place in oven and cook at 325 F for about 45 minutes until the top appears firm.
6) Turn out of bowl and serve with Plum Pudding Sauce.