A fantastic Christmas tradition in many American and British households is the Christmas (or sometimes called Plum) Pudding. As it's traditionally made, this delightful treat often needs to be aged for months, and you need an expensive mold to get that proper shape. Considering the work and forethought needed in most plum puddings, many just get their own at the store and call it a day.
Not this year, though! We wanted a plum pudding that wouldn't require months of planning. This recipe cuts the aging time down considerably, and only requires a mixing bowl and some foil to replace the pudding molds. To serve after making, just return the pudding to the mixing bowl (or mold) and steam for two to three hours. Flambe after, or make a hard sauce to drizzle over top for some extra flair. Keep reading below for our favorite Christmas pudding recipe...
Plum Pudding Without the Aging Recipe
- 1lb dark raisins
- 2 cups dried currants
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup fresh bread crumbs
- 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
- 3/4 cup flour
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 teaspoon table salt
- 1/2lb cold unsalted butter cut into 1/4" pieces
- 4 large eggs
- 1/2 cup cream sherry
- 1/3 cup brandy, plus 1/4 cup reserved for flambe (flambe optional)
- 1/4 cup candied citron, finely chopped (optional)
- Vegetable shortening to grease the mold
- 1/2lb unsalted butter, softened
- 3 cups confectioners' sugar
- grated orange zest from 1 orange
- 1/2 teaspoon mace
- 1/4 teaspoon table salt
- 1/3 cup cognac
- 2 tablespoon cream sherry
- Chop half of the raisins down to be roughly the same size at the currants.
- Combine all raisins and currants in a large saucepan. Add water.
- Cover and bring to a boil.
- Once boiling, uncover and simmer, stirring frequently until nearly all liquid has evaporated (about 15 or so minutes).
- Remove the pan from the heat, cover, and let cool to room temperature for at least 2 hours.
- While the raisin mixture is cooling, combine bread crumbs, brown sugar, flour, spices, and salt in a blender or workbowl of a food processor. Procesds the mixture until the brown sugar is completely pulverized.
- Add butter and pule until the mixture is about the consistency of coarse bread crumbs. Do not allow the mixture to clump.
- In a large bow, whisk eggs until foamy, then beat in sherry and 1/3 cup brandy.
- Stir in the bread crumb mixture, then add the cooked fruits and their juices as well as the citron (if using). Stir until well blended.
- Thickly grease a 2 1/2 or 3 quart mold with shortening (a mixing bowl works as well).
- Fill the mold with pudding batter, leaving at least 1 inch between the batter and the rim for expansion.
- Cut a piece of heavy-duty foil 1 inch larger than the mold, then trip the foil down over the rim of the mold, making sure to leave as little overhand as possible down the sides.
- Arrange a cake rack on the bottom of a steamer so the pudding won't come in direct contact with heat. Set the mold on the cake rack, and place a plate upside down over the foil.
- Pour enough boiling water into the steamer so the water comes up to about halfway up the sides of the mold.
- Cover the steamer, turn the head to high, and return the water to a boil as quickly as possible.
- Lower the heat to keep a brisk simmer and steam for 3 1/2 hours, adding additional boiling water as needed.
- Once cooked, remove the mold from the pot (making sure to use oven mitts of course) and let cool until tepic.
- Shake the mold back and forth to loosen the pudding, then tip the pudding upside down onto a large sheet of foil.
- Wrap the pudding tightly, then wrap in a second sheet of foil and encloze in a ziploc bag.
- Let the pudding stand at cool room temperature for 3 days, then refrigerate for up to 2 months.
- When ready to serve, return the pudding to the original mold that has been well greased once again.
- Steam for 2 to 3 hours, or until the center is 160 dgrees on an instand read thermometer.
- Invert the pudding into a platter and unmold.
- To flambe, warm 1/4 cup brandy in a small saucepan, then drizzle over the pudding. Ignite with a long, wooden match.
HARD SAUCE RECIPE
- Combine butter, sugar, zest, mace, and salt in a large bowl.
- With an electric mixter set at low, mix ingredients together and gradually increase the speed to medium-high and beat until the mixture is fluffy and looks almost white (7 to 10 minutes) making sure tos crape down the sides of the bowl.
- Combine brandy and sherry in a measuring cup. With the mixer running, slowly add the the liquor until combined.
- Store mixture in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 1 week.
- Bring the refrigerated mixture to room temperature before serving to prevent separation.
- Drizzle the mixture over the plum pudding when ready to serve.
Recipe adapted from Cooks Illustrated