Christmas Recipe – Plum Pudding
The first thing you’ll notice about this recipe is that there aren’t actually any plums in the list of the ingredients. Remember the sugar plums dancing in the heads of the children in the poem, The Night Before Christmas? There aren’t any plums in those either. Plums originally referred to prunes, then later came to mean any dried fruits. Plum pudding goes way back in the UK, all the way to the 15th century. If you could travel back in time and taste this classic as it was made hundreds of years ago, you might find that it would taste somewhat different. You might even be able to detect a depth of flavour that has nothing at all to do with the warm flavours of cinnamon, cloves or brown sugar. What you would be tasting is meat. Like mincemeat pies, plum pudding provided the perfect platform for preserving meat through the winter. It took the Victorians to finally drop the ground meat from the recipe, although suet (raw beef fat).
Plum pudding is pressed into a bowl and steamed or boiled until cooked through. Once done, it has a dense, cake-like consistency. Douse it in whisky, then strike a match. Plum Pudding flambé makes a great entrance in a darkened room.
Is Plum Pudding part of your family’s traditions?