Eat like a guest of the Crachit’s on Christmas . . .
(from A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens)
Are you feeling more “God Bless Us Everyone” than “Bah Humbug?” Then celebrate the season with a taste of Mrs. Crachit’s famous plum pudding!
Fruit Mixture (To be made 4 days ahead)
- 1 pound seedless raisins
- 1 pound sultana raisins
- 1/2 pound currants
- 1 cup thinly sliced citron
- 1 cup chopped candied peel
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon mace
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon allspice
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 pound finely chopped suet – powdery fine
- 1 1/4 cups cognac
- 1 1/4 pounds (approximately) fresh bread crumbs
- 1 cup scalded milk
- 1 cup sherry or port
- 12 eggs, well beaten
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
Blend the fruits, citron, peel, spices and suet and place in a bowl or jar. Add 1/4 cup cognac, cover tightly and refrigerate for 4 days, adding 1/4 cup cognac each day.
Soak the bread crumbs in milk and sherry or port. Combine the well-beaten eggs and sugar. Blend with the fruit mixture. Add salt and mix thoroughly. Put the pudding in buttered bowls or tins, filling them about 2/3 full. Cover with foil and tie it firmly. Steam for 6-7 hours. Uncover and place in a 250°F. oven for 30 minutes. Add a dash of cognac to each pudding, cover with foil and keep in a cool place.
To use, steam again for 2-3 hours and unmold. Sprinkle with sugar; add heated cognac. Ignite and bring to the table. Serve with hard sauce or cognac sauce.