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 ChristMass Plum Pudding

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ChiefBull

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Age : 73
Location : Fall River, MA
Registration date : 2013-12-02

PostSubject: ChristMass Plum Pudding   Thu Jan 02, 2014 5:59 pm

Our family Recipe:
Brothers, I do hope not belabor any of You. One of our number penned me a private "E" and I am somewhat disappointed in myself, as I did not answer him properly straightway. I suppose to learn if there is such a thing as 'Suet Pudding' then one must ask the oracle [Google] directly: "...is there Suet pudding....?" Yes!!!!!!!!!!
----A possible History [and quite probable too]----
Suet Pudding comes down to us quite probably from the Romans, who historically served "meat Pottage" to the Legions; that was the fuel of Paulinus Severus and the XVth Gemina Victrix- Nero's "killing machine" in Britain. Meat Pottage was a blended gruel of cereal grains, fruits, root vegetables, berries, and meat. With their withdrawal in AD406 the tradition stayed but changed somewhat. Being that meat was now a scarce commodity among the villainy, lesser and lesser cuts of meat were used for their table. Around 1420 we have the first notable mention/s of "Meat Pottage" served as a pudding; fundamentally it was a sloppy gruel that had been reduced to a pudding consistency in the pot over a fire. During the ChristMass season the Plantagenet Lancastrian Kings set a great table where this was served and known a "ChristMass Plum Pudding". The King was looked upon as "the Father head" of the country; he was morally obliged to support his subjects to the greatest extent possible; therefore the day after ChristMass the King directed all food that was not consumed at his table to be "Boxed" and distributed among the villainy for their maintenance and care; hence we have "Boxing Day" come down to us. Puddings, like Pies, were not so much a dessert fare as a means of preserving meats, fruits, and other food stuffs for later consumption. Suet had made its way onto the common table as a matter of economic necessity, not style. Traditionally suet consisted of the hardened fats of both of mutton and beef and the best grades were always cut finely and had gristles either removed or cut extremely fine; otherwise the suet would be very disagreeable to the palate. If one is willing to experiment just a bit, a good grade of suet can be blended into a Plum Pudding to give a rich meat background to the composition.
To understand what 'Plum Pudding' is, one must properly understand how the English originally used that word 'Plum'. To the Plantagenets and later English, the word 'Plum' was used to describe any fruit meat that had been dried and cured for storage and later consumption: raisins, grapes, apples, pears, currants, figs, the like. The word 'Plum' was not restricted to just the Plum. We try to adhere as greatly as possible to the traditional way of making 'ChristMass Plum Pudding'. It is made with the grandchildren present and stirred [13] thirteen times, once for Christ and 'His Twelve Apostles' and a coin placed into the pudding batter for each of the grandchildren for good fortune in the coming year.
---Billing of Fare---

a. 1-cup Molasses
b. 3/4 cup melted [unsalted] butter
c. 1/2 cup of whole [we try to go to the dairy for that] Milk that has been warmed
d. 2 'jumbo' eggs wll beaten
e. 1 cup of all purpose flour
f. a bit set aside ~ly 1/4 up of flour for tossing the fruits together
g. 1 Tsp. of Baking Soda [a leavening agent]
h. 1 Tsp. salt [leavening also, salt triggers the Soda]
i. 1 Tsp. fresh ground Cinnamon
j. 1/2 Tsp. fresh ground Clove. Here there is danger. The dominant note of the 'Pudding' is Clove [Clove is a given in English dishes and the bloody Germans are crazy for it]. But one must be careful, too little or commercially bottled and the pudding is nondescript, too much [a bit like Latakia here] and it is medicinal and unpleasant.
k. 1 pint of candied mixed fruits [pineapple, pear, apples, figs, plums, a bit of dried cherry, a small biut of cndd lemonor orange rind]
l. 1 cup of raisins. We have found the Muscat raisins to be really the most savory and sweet.
m. 1-1/2 Ozs. of Brandy; we have deleted Brandy here and have substituted "Old Crow" Black Bourbon 86Pf. The oak notes are unbelievable and the burnt butterscotch finish to it is incredible. Besides, it's the whiskey that none other than 'Sam Grant' drank when he commanded the Army of the Tennessee in the Late War of Northern Aggression.
n. 1 well shaped sprig of Holly
o. Hard sauce [to follow]

Before hand, prepare a bunt cake tin with Lard by rubbing the insides of the tin and then powdering it with sugar. this will later provide the release.
Place a heavy Porcelain double cooker pan on the stove, fill it with water and bring to a boil, if possible [but not necessary] with a rack in the bottom.

Combine all the molasses, butter, milk, and eggs in a mixing bowl and beat thoroughly together but not to foam.
Combine flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and cloves in a separate large mixing bowl
Add the 'Dry' to the 'Wet' ingredients carefully in three additions
Toss together all of the candied fruits and raisins with the 1/4 up of flower [flour establishes gluten chains which prevents sinking in the batter] into the batter
Stir in the Whiskey

Pour the batter into the Bunt Cake tin making sure to get all of the fruit meat bits into the batter. Place the entire tin into the pan such that the water comes half way up the sides of the Bunt Cake Tin.
Carefully cover with tin foil, or a vented lid and steam this for two hours. Monitor this occasionally making sure that there is sufficient water to promote steaming and not boiled out dry.
After two hours carefully remove the tin and place it in a cool room or some place away and allow it to cool.

-----DO NOT TOUCH THE PUDDING KEEP YOUR FINGERS AWAY FROM IT PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!-----

Allow this to cool for 24 hours, the consistency is a very soft 'jello pudding' like character; it needs to be firm. We let ours sit for 48 hours. When turning out, tip the bunt tin over and rap it smartly against a cutting board; it will release as a whole shape. This is what you want. Dust lightly with confectioners powdered sugar, enter the Holly to the pudding and present.
If you want flaming pour a tot of brandy over the pudding and touch a match to it, carefully. Sprinkle after the flames are out.
HardSauce:
1/4lb. Butter
1 cup Sugar [caster's sugar]
1 pinch of salt
1 Tsp. Vanilla essence [extract]
1 ounce of Rum [here I use Cruzan Black-Strap Navy Rum, Rum the way God intended it to be sweet black dark and syrupy
80Pf. not the bloody commercially distilled gasoline that passes for such today]
Caster's Sugar is easy to make, take a cup or two of sugar and put it in a blender and pulse the blender. Caster's sugar is between confectioner's sugar and regular table sugar.

Well so much for history England and English tradition. Enjoy and remember "...good Olde England...", your children, grand children and 'Boxing Day'

regards
ChiefBull
Anchor'sAweigh/SemperFi



































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Brewdude

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Age : 65
Location : Near the Emerald city
Registration date : 2011-05-04

PostSubject: Re: ChristMass Plum Pudding   Thu Jan 02, 2014 9:00 pm

Chief Bull

Thanks for the comprehensive description of this custom and little understood delicacy. I've always held a general understanding, but this fills in the blanks.


Cheers,

RR
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DrT999

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Age : 59
Location : Piedmont of North Carolina
Registration date : 2011-08-31

PostSubject: Re: ChristMass Plum Pudding   Thu Jan 02, 2014 11:26 pm

I always buy a small Plum Pudding every year for the holidays, but I try not to look too closely at the ingrediants!
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pepesdad1

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Age : 74
Location : Tallahassee, Florida
Registration date : 2013-03-03

PostSubject: ChristMass Plum Pudding   Fri Jan 03, 2014 6:01 am

Thanks for the history of this...including Boxing Day.  Very informative.
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