As many of you have probably noticed, we're back from the cruise! It was incredibly awesome. I plan on writing up a hugemongous post about it at some point, but first, boiled pudding!
Yeah, so, the day I got out of work before Christmas (er, December 23rd, I think) I decided that I HAD TO MAKE A PLUM PUDDING. I had always wanted to try a recipe from a Victorian cookbook like Cassell's Household Guide, and I was reading through the section about Christmas food and decorations to get me into the proper festive spirit. So I called up caitirin
and told her that I really wanted to make a boiled pudding that night. She was v. amused. So I stopped at the fabric store and got a yard of unbleached muslin, and then we went to the grocery store for the few ingredients we needed.
Here's the recipe we used: Another Recipe.—Half a pound of currants, half a pound of raisins stoned, three table-spoonfuls of flour, three tablespoonfuls of bread grated fine, six ounces of beef suet minced, eight eggs beaten up, five ounces of brown sugar, a small grated nutmeg, a pinch of salt, three cloves pounded, and half a teaspoonful of ground allspice; a glass of brandy may be added, if it be liked; mix all the ingredients carefully together, and boil for three or four hours.
The only thing we didn't use was beef suet (we couldn't find any at our grocery store, and caitirin
was happy to veto it in favor of vegetable Crisco). We also halved the recipe and modified the amounts of flour and bread. I mean, I'm no master baker, but I can't quite imagine a pleasing consistency being the result of eight eggs and only three tablespoons of flour and three of grated bread. I could be wrong O_o
Considering that the recipe for Plum Pudding right above this one calls for only six eggs and a whole pound of flour, I figure people generally put in whatever they had on hand or could easily acquire. Also, other recipes for puddings include such helpfully vague measurements as "the quantity of flour and bread-crumbs added will depend upon the richness required in the pudding." Another recipe said to add enough flour to make the batter the proper consistency. I guess they assume you know what that is.( Pictures under the cut! )