A few people asked me to post about making this year’s Christmas Pudding. Yesterday was “Stir Up Sunday” (¡Hagan lío! Sunday?), the last of the liturgical year. It is so-called because of the first words of the Collect. But I’ve written on that elsewhere.
Putting together my mise en place. I’m using Delia’s recipe, with variations. That requires measurement by weight and volume for liquids, thus, the graduated cylinder.
The least pleasant aspect of the recipe is the preparation of the suet. I lopped some o’ this here hunk off and made sure it were froze some.
Grate the suet. Add the bread crumbs and blend together. As it was I had to use a multi-bladed pastry cutter.
Adding all the ingredients and ticking them off the list, so that I don’t miss any. I couldn’t find my usual zester for the orange and lemon, so I zested with an erzatz zester, I tested before hand, then rested and zested the aforesaid lemon. Here is the bested orange, zested.
Into the eggs beaten with bourbon (not rum this year) goes the stout. There is also barleywine.
Now it goes to the fridge for the night. The next morning, that is this morning, in went the self-rising flour. I had to concoct some, with baking soda and salt.
Yes, if you were about to ask, I added more bourbon.
To grease the pudding basins, I used pure lard.
The toughest part of the whole process is tying the string around the basins. I made loops to facilitate their removal from the large pot where they are, as I write this, being steamed.
I’ll give them about 8 hours.
You can help me with the ingredients and win my gratitude as well as remembrance among the benefactors I pray for at Mass.
In the meantime, as I posted in years past, here are images from a book I recall from my ever more distant childhood, depicting “Max” preparing what I now – at long last – understand to be a Christmas Pudding! As a ‘Mer’can kid I had no idea what he was making – meatloaf? – or why he was trying to light it on fire.
Max was created by Pericle Giovannetti for Punch.
Yes, sometimes our best plans and efforts blow up in our faces.
The puddings steamed for about 8 hours.
And they are ready for storage.
I found an old pudding, several years old, when I went to put the new ones away. I wonder if it okay. I suppose if you steam it long enough….