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Christmas Pudding: Tips & Techniques


jackal10
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A google search reveals many, such as

http://recipes.chef2chef.net/recipe-archive/45/240779.shtml

I am wondering about stuffing the individual XMas puddings with something, like a liquid centre.  Brandy Butter maybe but would be a bit rich. Some sort of creme? Chocolate?  Marzipan?  What do you think?

Goodness how recipes change with time! A pie shell! I think that I prefer the Careme version, the gelatin in a pie shell versions reminds me a little too much of "Angel Delight" or on of those god awful "Better then Sex" desserts. Still it may make for an interesting comparison one day.

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I too think you would be more successful in the pastry forum with this quest

Just a note to detractors of changing the traditional Christmas pudding out of fear that the public would not accept it - note that the requestor has declared that this treat is in fact for the cooks at the restaurant on their day off and is not for the public.

I have to admit that I have only had a Christmas pudding once (and that was when I was maybe 10) so I do not have the taste indexed readily in my mind, but, if I were planning to deconstruct and serve a pudding I might approach it in the following way:

1- Cake element (rich, dense, very moist: maybe apple, introduce chocolate?) small, served warm

2- Fruit element: could go with candied zest (not purchased) brunoise or thin strips with a bit of syrup

3- creamy caramel sauce

4- Caramelized cinnamon gelee in cubes or strips

5- Rum/Nutmeg ice cream (like egg nog)

Serve with cinnamon crisp tuiles

This way you address the basic flavor, textural, and temperature elements of the pudding

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  • 5 months later...

Last November, we went to London and I brought my father a Christmas Pudding from Marks & Spencer's. Huge hit! We loved it. So, I said I would make a Christmas pudding this year.

I have recipes with suet and without. Which is better?

How long should they age? The one from M&S was made in Dec '03. Can I get away with a month or two since the majority of the ingredients aren't available until the fall?

They say to age them in cool, dry place. How cool is cool?

Thanks!

S. Cue

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A proper Christmas pudding must have Suet, beer, alcohol, and no carrots (some wartime recipes used carrots to cut down on the sugar)

Illustrated recipe is in the eGCI Autumn preserves unit http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showtopic=30785

Scroll down and you will come to it.

Best aged for a year before eating...if you are more organised than I am, you make this year's batch and eat last years

Edited by jackal10 (log)
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I would say go with suet unless you have good reason to avoid it. My mum uses a Delia Smith recipe with some alterations, and ages it about three months, periodically dousing it liberally with brandy. Because the bulk of the pudding is dried fruits, and the whole thing is chock-full of alcohol (this is a pudding that you can light on fire, after all!), you could probably keep it in a well-sealed container for quite some time. I seem to have a list of ingredients for my mum's Christmas pudding, although no instructions for some reason, if it's any help:

Christmas Pudding

55 g suet (1/2 cup)

28 g flour (1/4 cup)

1/4 tsp baking powder

55 g breadcrumbs (1 slice=3/4 cup)

1/4 tsp mixed spice

1/8 tsp nutmeg

1/16 tsp cinnamon

110 g brown sugar (3/4 cup)

55 g sultanas (1/2 cup)

55 g raisins

144 g currants (1 cup)

12 g mixed peel (2 Tb)

12g blanched almonds, chopped (1/4 cup)

1/4 apple, finely chopped

1/4 grated orange rind

1/4 grated lemon rind

1 egg

1 Tb rum

37 mL barley wine (2 Tb + 2 tsp)

37 mL stout (2 Tb + 2 tsp)

to add: I'm pretty sure she doesn't use either the barley wine or the stout, I think she subs in brandy in for those.

Cutting the lemon/the knife/leaves a little cathedral:/alcoves unguessed by the eye/that open acidulous glass/to the light; topazes/riding the droplets,/altars,/aromatic facades. - Ode to a Lemon, Pablo Neruda

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The most difficult ingredient for me to get is the suet and the candied peel before fall. Unless I run into them, I might just have to make them in the fall and do 2 batches (one for this year and one for next).

Do you know what temp is your storage place? How cool is cool? Is a fridge too cold? I do not overheat my house in the winter and my basement is fairly cool, but summers are very hot in Chicago (85 F+), and it becomes impossible and too expensive to keep the house really cool.

Thanks

S. Cue

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Just leave out the candied peel; it will be fine. You should be able to get suet from a butcher.

The high sugar and alcohol mean they can be stored at room temperature; in the store cupboard with jams or an ordinary kitchen cupboard. Summer heat won't hurt - these puddings get boiled for 8 hours.. Main danger is mice if they are in your house and can get to this delcious treat...

Edited by jackal10 (log)
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I can go to the trouble of candying my own peel. Thank you about the summer heat. That was my main fear, that I would pop this out at Xmas after a long Chicago summer and have some horrible science experiment.

The cats do a good job of keeping the mice down in the house (old house near a forest preserve, I also have a skunk den and snake nest in the yard and a coyote that regularly patrols the alley).

S. Cue

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Definitely ask your butcher for suet...even at a Jewel or Dominick's. My MIL in Elmwood Park, IL used to make Christmas pudding every year with suet and that was the only way she could get it in recent years. She never aged hers though. It was just made the day before and not alcohol-laden. Shame.

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A proper Christmas pudding must have Suet, beer, alcohol, and no carrots (some wartime recipes used carrots to cut down on the sugar)

This got me wondering, why beer? It seems to me that the taste would be totally overwhelmed by the stonger alcohols, and it's not like you need the extra alcohol for preservation purposes.

Cutting the lemon/the knife/leaves a little cathedral:/alcoves unguessed by the eye/that open acidulous glass/to the light; topazes/riding the droplets,/altars,/aromatic facades. - Ode to a Lemon, Pablo Neruda

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  • 4 months later...
A proper Christmas pudding must have Suet, beer, alcohol, and no carrots (some wartime recipes used carrots to cut down on the sugar)

Illustrated recipe is in the eGCI Autumn preserves unit http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showtopic=30785

Scroll down and you will come to it.

Best aged for a year before eating...if you are more organised than I am, you make this year's batch and eat last years

Jackal, I'm making a (late) leap and going to start making Christmas puddings. I've read your recipe several times, and for the life of me I don't see any suet in the recipe, your remark above notwithstanding. Should I add 1 pound of suet to the other ingredients? Re the "large" glass of brandy, how large is "large"? Thanks for the help and the great work.

"My only regret in life is that I did not drink more Champagne." John Maynard Keynes

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OOPS!

8 oz suet

If you want a lighter puddung you can omit the flour.

The amount of brandy is up to your discretion. say 1/4 cup...

Just made the Damson Cheese/Comfits for this year

Omitting the flour sounds good to me. You continue to amaze. I'm suspecting that somehow you've managed to get 28 hours into your days, whereas mine only have 20 :raz:. Thanks very much for the help.

"My only regret in life is that I did not drink more Champagne." John Maynard Keynes

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  • 3 months later...

I am in charge of homemade applesauce and dessert for dinner on December 25.

2/3 of cultural heritage of adults is Jewish (Russian, Eastern European & Israeli) and given the date that Chanakah begins this year, latkes and brisket will be served.

My own family's traditions are largely British (thus title) and I do love Christmas pudding, though I don't know if there is any way to make one at this late date.

While I usually make something with pears for Christmas, I welcome any suggestions for a different kind of dessert. Is there anything traditional for Chanakah that isn't a cookie?

Anything you do or are doing in light of the coinciding religious/cultural traditions?

"Viciousness in the kitchen.

The potatoes hiss." --Sylvia Plath

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The following are traditional chanukah desserts in my family:

Soufganyiot (Jelly doughnuts)

Apple pancakes

You can also make any other type of fried fritter, such as beignets, pumpkin fritters, ricotta fritters, etc.

British-Israelis usually make traditional figgy pudding for the holiday called Shavuot.

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My brother calls my christmas tree a "Chanukah bush". I think that is just affected and silly, and slightly degrading. Its more of a pagan symbol, if anything, a middle German Victorian import.

You can make Xmas pud now, just boil it a long time, like 8 hours.

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I had forgotten about jelly doughnuts which I am sure the children would love!

However, I am pleased to hear that a Christmas pudding/Shavuot can be made this close to December 25.

Do you have a recipe for the pudding you'd be willing to share?

Thank you, Michelle and Jackal10.

"Viciousness in the kitchen.

The potatoes hiss." --Sylvia Plath

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When you serve the pudding, make sure to play Will Smith in the background singing, "Gettin' figgy wit it! Da da da da ta da! Gettin' figgy wit it!"

Sorry--I couldn't resist. :hmmm:

If you're serving latkes, the sour cream accompaniment would be tasty on the fig pudding as well.

There are two sides to every story and one side to a Möbius band.

borschtbelt.blogspot.com

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Xmas pud:

Equal quantities of breadcrumbs, suet, dark brown sugar, eggs (weigh in their shells),seedless raisins, golden raisins/sultanas, currants, stoned prunes (it was plum pudding) and any other fruit you fancy

Half the weight glace cherries and glace peel,

Bottle of dark beer, Guinness for preference, less a large glass for the cook

Glass of rum or brandy (or both).

2 tsp mixed spices (nutmeg, cloves,ginger) (if the base measure is 1lb)

2 tsp salt

Stir it all together anti-clockwise (most important). Make a wish. Add more beer if the mixture is too stiff.

Put into pudding basins, cover and boil for 8 hours or so. Re-boil before serving with rum or brandy butter.

or there is Dan's Figgy Pudding http://www.guardian.co.uk/weekend/story/0,...1667886,00.html

Edited by jackal10 (log)
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I figive U, Fresser.

In my mind is a picture of your Lady Who Lunches in a Santa hat and red high heels gettin' wiggy wid dat, indeed. Wanna recreate that image for all of us?

And yes, there will be sour cream, but I am going to do my London-born stepmother's hard sauce, too.

And, jackal, thanks again. I will look at the recipe you linked and hope it helps me figure out proportions and more exacting measurements since I am definitely a recipe follower when it comes to this kind of cooking. I will PM if I prove clueless.

"Viciousness in the kitchen.

The potatoes hiss." --Sylvia Plath

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I had forgotten about jelly doughnuts which I am sure the children would love!

However, I am pleased to hear that a Christmas pudding/Shavuot can be made this close to December 25. 

Do you have a recipe for the pudding you'd be willing to share?

Thank you, Michelle and Jackal10.

Shavuot is a holiday and it it is in the Spring. I would make sure that you either make the pudding with vegetarian or beef suet, not pork.

No comment on the tree, Jack. :rolleyes:

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I figive U, Fresser. 

In my mind is a picture of your Lady Who Lunches in a Santa hat and red high heels gettin' wiggy wid dat, indeed.   Wanna recreate that image for all of us?

Red high heels and lipstick to match! Shimmery stockings would complete the holiday outfit.

Is Fress in a Dress welcome in your kitchen as well? "I can bring home potatoes, Fry 'em up in a pan!"

EDIT: Oh, and back by Pontormo's request is Heather Duster!

gallery_336_534_1104543679.jpg

Just swap the feather duster for a rolling pin and I'm downright festive! :laugh:

Edited by Fresser (log)

There are two sides to every story and one side to a Möbius band.

borschtbelt.blogspot.com

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