Posted by Word Camel on November 13, 2002
In Reply to: Suet, aging posted by R. Berg on November 13, 2002
: : : : : : : : : A protester was recently reported to have said: "Ninety eight percent of the pudding is produced by the CIA. Hence, the CIA makes pudding". What is the connection?
: : : : : : : : It was a protest against the Culinary Institute of America? :)
: : : : : : : : I live near the New England Culinary Institute and numerous CIA alumni are affiliated with NECI. I love watching bemused people walking past rows of parked cars emblazoned with "CIA" stickers.
: : : : : : : (See previous post for link to recipe.)
: : : : : : : Since you brought up the subject of pudding...I've decided to walk on the wild side and order a Christmas pudding from the BBC America online shop. Does anyone have an opinion on which would be good:
: : : : : : : Fortnum & Mason Christmas Pudding
: : : : : : : Mrs. Peeks Rum & Brandy Christmas Pudding
: : : : : : : Chiver's Christmas Pudding
: : : : : : : None of the above
: : : : : : : They also had some "lusty cookies" for sale. I have never had a lusty cookie but it sounds intriguing.
: : : : : :
: : : : : : I should opt for the 'Fortnum & Mason Christmas Pudding', it may not have all the excitement of the others but it can be relied on. 'Lusty cookies', on the other hand, have a kind of wild feel about them and may be just the thing to spice up those endless hours on Xmas eve awaiting the arrival of the red suited, red faced fat fellow with the limited vocabulary and drunken expression.
: : : : : I was going to make a husband joke, but I won't.
: : : : Make your own - I do. The following recipe is easy and makes magnificent puddings!
: : : : Edna Tipper's Christmas Pudding.
: : : : For two 850ml (1½ pt) or three 550ml (1pt) bowls.
: : : : 250gram (8oz ) (325g for 4 bowls) chopped suet.
: : : : 250gram (8oz ) (325g for 4 bowls) finely grated bread crumbs.
: : : : 250gram (Soz ) (325g for 4 bowls) raisins
: : : : 250gram (8oz ) (325g for 4 bowls) sultanas.
: : : : 250gram (8oz ) (325g for 4 bowls) currants.
: : : : 250gram (8oz ) (325g for 4 bowls) brown sugar.
: : : : 125gram (4oz) (150g for 4 bowls) almonds (blanched & coarsely chopped)
: : : : Grated rind and juice of one orange and one lemon.
: : : : Level teaspoon mixed spice (heaped for 4 bowls).
: : : : 1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg.
: : : : Pinch of salt.
: : : : 1 teacup of self raising flour.(1¼ for 4 bowls)
: : : : Mix dry ingredients thoroughly.
: : : : Add five eggs (6 for 4 bowls) and a wine glass of brandy and/or liquor of choice. (We use a small bottle of Barley wine -magnificent!!)
: : : : Stir well. Make wish(es)!! Leave mixture overnight.
: : : : Divide into well buttered pudding bowls. Cover with greaseproof paper then a strong cloth or aluminium foil: tie down securely with string.
: : : : Steam as follows:
: : : : Conventional : 3-4 hours when making and 3-4 hours before serving.
: : : : Pressure cooker : gently steam without valve for 30 mins. Steam at 15lbs for three hours and another valveless 30 minutes before serving (we find this last bit unnecessary).
: : : : These instructions produce a slightly sweet, very dark brown, almost black pudding with considerable flavour.
: : : : ..............
: : : : NB Edna Tipper was a friend's landlady in Shropshire in the early 1960s.
: : :
: : : Am I right in thinking that Christmas pudding can be made months ahead fo time? Or am I confusing that with fruit cake? I was once given a Fortnum and Mason Hamper for Christmas one year. I seem to recall that the date on the pudding was somewhere in the next two years.
: : Hmmm. Chopped suet. That sounds suspiciously like meat. Is there a vegetarian substitute. Or would that ruin it?
: : I like fruitcake but I buy mine already fixed. So I don't know if there's an aging process. I read a really sweet story written by Truman Capote about preparing fruitcakes with his aunt. That's all I know about it.
: I've made fruitcake, and yes, it is aged; a month or more is recommended. Cookbooks say butter can be substituted for suet. Cardiologists would say don't use either.
There are some wonderful fatty things that can be served with Christmas pudding. One of them is brandy butter (butter with brandy) and the other is cream or better yet, clotted cream. There is just no subsitute. I may not live as long but Oh what puddings I've had!