Oh yes, he does!
Oh no, he doesn’t!
Oh yes, he does!
Oh, never mind.
(If you don’t get that, just move along…)
At the weekend, I was helping make Christmas puddings, sometimes known as plum pudding.
I gathered the ingredients, washed up and tried, rather unsuccessfully as usual, to control two 11 year-olds who were way too excited that their very own school operations officer had come along to show them how to do it.
Other than that, I stood back to watch the master chefs at work.
We approached it with a ‘bit of this and a bit of that’ mentality. 😉
We used the recipe from The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook (aff), but we dropped the marmalade (I hadn’t got any,) added suet – a delightful euphemism for pig fat, and switched Cointreau for the traditional brandy.
As you do.
That’s the way we roll in our house.
The cooks mixed everything up, wrapped the puds in muslin, and tied and steamed for three hours.
Just like they did in the good old days.
This was the real deal.
Right now the six we made are aging in garages around the Bay Area and will get steamed once again for 3 hours prior to eating.
I was asked on my Facebook page if Christmas puddings were worth all the effort.
Is that a serious question, I wondered?
Of *course* they are!
Pig fat Suet, dried fruit, a few breadcrumbs, a little flour, spices, eggs, lemon, orange and apples, double steamed, served with cream, custard or brandy butter….yum.
This recipe is suitable for kids (no alcohol) and doesn’t use suet.
Best served in small helpings with other people who revere the Great British Christmas Pudding as much as you do and will give it the due respect it deserves. 🙂
Harry Potter Christmas Pudding for Kids
Anxiety about drinking the illegal Polyjuice Potion does not interfere with Harry and Ron’s appetites. They have three helpings of Christmas pudding before Hermione hustles them away to pluck hair off the heads of the two thugs that the potion will change them into (see Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Chapter 12.)
1 and a half cups all purpose flour (I used self raising.)
1 cup fresh breadcrumbs
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 and half teaspoons of ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
Half a teaspoon of ground nutmeg
Half a teaspoon of ground cloves
Half a teaspoon of salt
2 sticks of cold butter, cut into pieces
1 cup dried currants or cranberries (Cranberries are not authentic British but we like them so we chucked them in.)
1 cup dark raisins
1 cup golden raisins (Sultanas to you Brits – but don’t tell me, you’ll be going to M&S for yours, right? ;-))
4 large eggs
1/4 cup of marmalade (We used Cointreau. It’s the same. Really.)
Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
Grated zest and juice of 1 orange
Three quarters of a cup of apple juice
Grease and flour a 2 and a half quart bowl. Fill a large, wide pot halfway with water, place an overturned shallow bowl (we used a ramekin) in the bottom and bring to a simmer.
Mix together the flour, breadcrumbs, brown sugar, spices, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Scatter pieces of butter over the flour mixture and rub it in with your fingers until it reaches the consistency of wet sand (such an enticingly delicious sounding comparison don’t you think?) Add the currants or cranberries, dark raisins, and golden raisins, and toss to combine.
In a separate bowl, beat the eggs, marmalade (or Cointreau) and juice of orange, lemon and apple juice until well combined.
Pour egg mixture into the flour mixture and stir to combine.
Line bowl with cheesecloth/muslin and fill with pudding mixture. Steam for three hours, making sure it doesn’t boil dry.
Place in a cool, dry place for at least 2 weeks.
Steam again for three hours before serving.
Serve with your choice of cream, brandy butter/sauce or the common (wo)man’s favorite, Bird’s custard(aff).