December 17, 2011

[Classic Post] Christmas Pudding

As a backstop against information catastrophe, I assign to Internet posterity the ineffable taste of the season.

Grandma Hannaford’s Christmas Pudding
1/2 cup shortening
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 cup flour
3 eggs
1 cup soda cracker crumbs
1 tsp salt (scant)
1/2 tsp soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp allspice
1/2 cup Welch’s grape juice
1/8 cup brandy (plus plenty to soak fruit in)
1 1/2 cup raisins
3/4 cup currants
3/4 cup dates, cut up
1 cup glacee cherries
1/8 cup mixed peel
1 package slivered almonds
10 oz. can crushed pineapple

Blog PuddingThe night before, soak raisins, currants, dates and cherries in brandy.

Cream shortening, brown and white sugar.

Beat in eggs.

Mix dry ingredients: flour, cracker crumbs, salt, soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice.

Add dry ingredients to wet.

Mix in brandy and grape juice, then soaked fruit and almonds.

Spoon mixture into greased cans, leaving a couple of inches for expansion. Place cans on racks in a pan of water. Cans should not be immersed. (As with so much else in this extremely forgiving recipe, the size of the can doesn’t hugely matter; I tend to use 19 ouncers.)

Cook at 300F for 1 hour, then 275F for 2 hours. Replenish water as needed.

White Sauce For Pudding
1/2 cup white sugar
1 generous tbsp flour
1/2 cup milk
1 egg
2 tbsp butter
1/2 tsp vanilla

Beat egg white to stiff peak.

Thoroughly mix sugar and flour in heavy saucepan. Stir in milk and egg yolk. Add butter. Bring to a boil on medium heat, stirring constantly to prevent scorching. Boil for 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Add vanilla. Fold mixture into beaten egg white.

Can be served hot or cold. However, the former choice is, in the opinion of the transcriber, utter blasphemy.

There is also a hot caramel sauce. In the words of my mother, “That’s just brown sugar melted in water, isn’t it?” Unless I'm completely mistaken, there's now no one left in the family who prefers the hot sauce on the pudding, though my dad always has it on its own.