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Christmas Pudding

MyCookbook Recipe Database
MyCookbook Member: Mailady700
Recipe Category: Holiday
Recipe Preparation Level: difficult
    1 1/2 cups raisins, chopped
    2/3 cup dates, pitted and chopped
    1 cup soft dried figs, chopped
    1 cup currants
    3/4 cup golden raisins
    1/2 cup brandy
    2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter
    1 cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed
    grated zest of 1 lemon
    grated zest of 1 orange
    4 eggs, beaten
    1 cup blanched almonds, chopped
    3/4 cup all-purpose flour, sifted
    1 teaspoon cinnamon
    1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
    1 teaspoon ground allspice
    1 teaspoon ground ginger
    1 1/2 cups fresh white bread crumbs
    No traditional Christmas dinner is complete without pudding. It is best if allowed to mature for at least two days before serving, but it can be made up to three months ahead.

    Makes 12 to 16 servings.
    Preparation time: 5 hours and 3 days.

    Step 1:
    Grease a 2-quart ceramic mold or casserole.

    Step 2:
    In a large bowl, place all the fruit and pour the brandy over it. Stir well to disperse the brandy. Cover with a towel and set aside to macerate 12 to 24 hours.

    Step 3:
    In a large bowl, with an electric mixer on high, beat the butter and sugar until thick and creamy. Beat in the zests and eggs. Fold in the fruit and almonds. Add the flour and spices, combining well, then fold in the bread crumbs.

    Step 4:
    Spoon the mixture into the prepared mold, press down well, and level the surface. Cut a sheet of wax paper 2 inches larger than the top of the mold.
    Pleat the wax paper twice through the center to allow for expansion as the pudding rises. Place the paper on top of the pudding and cover it with a twice-pleated double thickness of foil. Tie foil securely to the edge of the mold with string.

    Step 5:
    Place the mold on a rack in a Dutch oven or other large covered pot. Pour boiling water into the Dutch oven until it is halfway up the side of the mold. Keep water at a gentle boil. Steam for 4 hours, topping the boiling water to the same level when necessary.

    Step 6:
    Remove the mold from the Dutch oven and set on a rack to cool. When thoroughly cooled, rewrap with fresh wax paper and foil, and store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

    Step 7:
    Steam again for 2 hours or microwave to reheat before serving

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