Host a Vic­to­rian Christ­mas Din­ner

Serves 6–8

Country Sampler Holiday Homes December 2018 - - Inside - RECIPE BY JES­SICA TOUCHETTE FOR CUPCAKEPROJECT.COM. PHO­TO­GRAPH BY J. POLLACK PHO­TOG­RA­PHY.

Pre­pare a cheer­ful hol­i­day feast that would make Charles Dick­ens proud!

HOST A Vic­to­rian Christ­mas Din­ner

Pre­pare a cheer­ful hol­i­day feast that would make Charles Dick­ens proud!

Plum pud­ding, the spirit of Vic­to­rian-era hol­i­day feasts, was orig­i­nally more of a hearty beef stew. It evolved over time, los­ing the meat and gain­ing prunes; to­day, it is most of­ten cooked with raisins. Stef Pollack of Cup­cake Project de­scribes this tra­di­tional Bri­tish Christ­mas dessert as a thick, slightly sweet raisin bread.

IN­GRE­DI­ENTS

24" square of un­bleached

muslin cloth

14 ounces ren­dered suet*

1 pound all-pur­pose flour

5 ounces gran­u­lated sugar

½ tea­spoon ground nut­meg

¼ tea­spoon ground ginger

¼ tea­spoon cloves

¼ tea­spoon salt

4 ounces mashed potato

20 ounces raisins

4 ounces cur­rants

4 eggs

¼ pint milk

Cook­ing twine

IN­STRUC­TIONS 1

First, make your muslin food- safe by soak­ing it overnight in cold water and then boil­ing it for 20 min­utes. Rinse it in cold water and hang it in a clean area to dry.

2

Lightly flour the blades of a kitchen grater and grate the solid suet into a bowl.

3

Fill a large pot three-quar­ters full with water. Cover and set on the stove to boil.

4

Mean­while, in a large bowl, com­bine flour, sugar, nut­meg, ginger, cloves and salt. Rub the grated suet into the dry mix­ture un­til no pieces larger than a pea re­main.

5

Add the mashed potato and mix un­til thor­oughly com­bined. Add raisins and cur­rants and mix un­til evenly dis­trib­uted.

6

In an­other bowl, beat the eggs un­til smooth. Stir the milk into the beaten eggs. Add the egg mix­ture into the bat­ter and mix thor­oughly.

7

Sub­merge your pre­pared muslin in the pot of boil­ing water. Wear­ing heavy rub­ber gloves, re­move the cloth from the water and wring out the ex­cess mois­ture.

8

Lay the cloth flat on a clean coun­ter­top and lib­er­ally sprin­kle the cen­ter with flour. Rub the flour across the cloth, en­sur­ing that a cir­cle of at least 16" in di­am­e­ter is coated with flour and that the flour layer is slightly thicker at the cen­ter.

9

Place the pud­ding bat­ter in the cen­ter of the floured cloth. Gather the cloth up around the bat­ter and, us­ing the cook­ing twine, tightly cinch as close to the mix­ture as pos­si­ble. Knot the cor­ners to­gether for a more se­cure seal.

10

Lower the pud­ding into the boil­ing water and cover the pot. Boil the pud­ding for 4 hours, re­plen­ish­ing the water as nec­es­sary.

11

Care­fully lift the pud­ding out of the water and place it in a colan­der. Cut the string, open the cloth, and turn the pud­ding out onto a plate to cool. Let sit for at least 20 min­utes be­fore serv­ing.

12

To store your pud­ding, al­low it to cool to room tem­per­a­ture, wrap it in plas­tic wrap, seal it in an air­tight con­tainer, and store it in the re­frig­er­a­tor. Briefly steam the pud­ding again be­fore serv­ing.

*As a veg­e­tar­ian al­ter­na­tive, sub­sti­tute an equiv­a­lent weight of veg­etable short­en­ing.

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