Plum Pudding

Plum pudding is a traditional Christmas dessert in the UK, and is normally made with suet. Julia Child’s version shows that there’s no reason plum pudding can’t be vegetarian.

Yield 12 servings
Time 10 minutes preparation, then 6 hours to steam
  • food processor
  • large bowl
  • wooden spoon
  • 8-cup pudding container with tight-fitting lid, such as a metal mixing bowl
  • steaming basket or water- and heat-proof trivet
  • soup pot (with lid) large enough to hold the pudding container
  • wax paper
  • serving platter
  • 1 c black raisins
  • 1 c yellow raisins
  • 1 c dried currants
  • 3 c white bread crumbs, lightly packed
  • 1 1/3 c sugar
  • ½ t cinnamon
  • 1 t nutmeg
  • 1 c butter, melted
  • 4 eggs, lightly beaten
  • almond extract
  • ½ c bitter orange marmalade
  • ½ c rum or bourbon, warm
  • 2 c zabaglione sauce
Directions Place raisins and currants in food processor and roughly chop. Transfer to bowl and combine with bread crumbs, sugar, and spices. Stir in butter, then add eggs, a few drops of almond extract, and the marmalade. Taste and add more sugar/spices if needed.

Spread the pudding into the pudding container, cover with wax paper, and press on the lid. Set the basket or trivet in the soup pot, and place the pudding container on top. Pour water into the pot until it comes a third of the way up the pudding container. Cover the pot, bring to a boil, lower heat, and let simmer for 6 hours, adding more water as needed.

The pudding is done when it is dark brown and fairly firm.

Let cool, then store in the refrigerator. The full flavor will develop after a week, and the pudding can be stored for several months.

Two hours before serving, resteam the pudding, then transfer to a hot serving platter. Warm the rum or bourbon, pour around the pudding, and light. Serve with zabaglione sauce on the side.

Notes Adapted from Julia Child’s The Way to Cook.

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