David's Recipe for Plum Pudding
This version is based on butter. The tube pan is unconventional, but helps assure that the pudding will cook evenly.
- 250 grams dark raisins
- 250 grams light raisins
- 150 grams candied citrus peel
- 75 ml beer. Dark beer is better; old beer which has lost its fizz is fine.
- Juice and minced zest of 1 lemon
- 175 grams butter
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 250 grams unflavored bread crumbs, store-bought or homemade.
- 1/4 coffee spoon finely ground nutmeg
- 1/4 coffee spoon freshly ground dried ginger
- 1 stick cinnamon, ground fine
- 5 cloves, ground fine
- 4 dried allspice berries, ground fine
- Pinch of salt
- 2 soup spoons brandy
- A few spoons of flour and some extra butter for greasing the pan
- 2 or more quarts boiling water
- Mix together the raisins, citrus peel, beer, lemon juice and zest, and brandy. Allow to stand for an hour.
- Cream together the butter and sugar.
- Beat the eggs one at a time into the sugar and butter.
- Beat the fruit mixture into the sugar mixture.
- Butter and flour a 9-inch tube pan.
- Put the boiling water in a saucepan which will hold the tube pan easily, and put a heat diffuser under the saucepan. Put the boiling water into the saucepan and lower the tube pan into it. The water should reach about half way up the pan. Put a folded towel over the top of the saucepan, making sure that the towel doesn't extend too far the rim of the pan, so that it won't catch fire! Cover with the lid of the saucepan. The towel will provide an almost hermetic seal while keeping the steam from condensing back onto the pudding.
- Steam for 5 hours on a slow boil, checking every so often to make sure that the water isn't close to evaporating. Five hours will be enough, and the pudding will now be much darker, but you can test it for doneness with a knife, as if it were a cake, if you want to.
- Allow the pudding to cool for 15 minutes, then loosen it from the tube pan with a knife. Tap the pan all around on a hard surface to further loosen the pudding, and then turn the pudding onto a plate.
- Serve hot, lukewarm, or at room temperature. The books say that plum puddings can be frozen, but I haven't tried it.