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Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Plum Pudding

Winter, Christmas & New Year- Festive Season Baking Special
Original Christmas Plum Pudding
Serves 4-6

1st Stage Ingredients:
Star Anise- 2 No’s
Cinnamon Sticks- 1 Inch
Prunes- 1 Cup, Finely Chopped
Cranberries- 1 Cup, Finely Chopped
Fruit Peels (Sweet Lime, Oranges) - 100 Grams
Cherries- 1 Cup, Finely Chopped
Pure Vanilla Essence- 1 Tsp.
Dark Rum- 1 Cup
Brandy- 1 Cup
Fruit Juice (Apple/Orange/Grape Juice) - 2 Cup
Raisins (Kismis)- 2 Cup

2nd Stage Ingredients:
All Purpose Flour- 2 Cup
Baking Powder- 1 Tsp.
Nutmeg Powder (Kuta Jaiphal)- ½ Tsp.
All Spice Powder (Kebab Cheeni)- ¼ Tsp.
Cinnamon Powder (Kuti Dalchini)- ½ Tsp.

3rd Stage Ingredients:
Butter- 1 Cup
Brown Sugar- 1 Cup
Pure Vanilla Extract - 1 Tsp.
Eggs- 6 Nos.
Silver Foil/Parchment Paper/Baking Paper- To Cover
Water- As Needed For Water Bath
Amul Fresh Cream- 2 Big Cups
Sugar- 4 Tbsp.
Saffron- 1 Tsp.
Brandy- 60 Ml.

1st Stage Method:
In a Bowl, Add Star Anise, Cinnamon Sticks, Prunes, Cranberries, Fruit Peels, Cherries, Vanilla Essence, Dark Rum, Brandy and Mix Well
Fruits especially Raisins Absorb most of the Alcohol
Mix the Fruits in Clockwise, Anti Clockwise and Clockwise direction. Mix & Turn the Spoon in 3 Times Total
Cover and keep the Mix refrigerated for at least 3 days

2nd Stage Method:
This is the Step to Mix in All the Dry Ingredients
So at First we start with All Purpose Flour in a Sieve and Mix in the Powdered Spices. Gently Sieve all and Keep Aside

3rd Stage Method:
Now would be the time to Whisk in the Butter & Brown Sugar to a Liquid Consistency
Mix in the Dry Ingredients, Carefully Fold Only in 1 direction
Mix in the Soaked Fruits-Spice Mix & Fold Well
The Batter Consistency should be a Wet & Sticky like a Cake Batter which would be Crucial as the Pudding can Either be Steamed in a Steamer or Make a Water Bath and Put it in the Oven
Grease the Cup with Melted Butter, Pour the Plum Batter with a Spoon and Settle the Batter down by Gently Patting down on Hands  
Cover the Cup with a Silver Foil/Parchment Paper/Baking Paper

For a Water Bath:
Add Water in 2 Aluminium Baking Vessel (Cover it just less than an Inch)
Preheat the Oven at about 150 Degree C
Put the Pudding Cups in it and let them Steam in the Water Bath in the Oven till 1 Hour

For Saffron Cream Sauce:
In a Pan Boil Cream, Sugar, Saffron and Brandy on a Low Flame till about 2-3 Minutes till it becomes a Thick Sauce-like Consistency
Keep the Sauce Aside

Check the Pudding, When done Invert it on a Serving Plate and Top it with Saffron Cream Sauce
Serve it Warm with Lots of Love just like All Our Christmas Wishes!!

Tips:
Let’s go back & rewind few decades back in the Western World, the Expensive Spices especially the Sweet Spices used in this Recipe was affordable just for few Festive Occasions So this Pudding was one of the highly awaited Dishes by the Family & became one of the Signature Christmas Recipes!
All Spice Powder includes a mix of Clove, Cinnamon, Nutmeg & Bayleaf
Prunes are Sweetened Plums just like Raisins are Sweetened Grapes!
For a Non Alcoholic Recipe- The Fruit-Spice Mix can be soaked in Fruit Juice (Apple/Orange/Grape Juice)
Raisins always absorb a lot of the Alcohol so we Add it in the end


Traditionally the Pudding was made 4 or 5 Weeks before Christmas
The Age Old belief is that while making a Plum Pudding, generally people especially every Child in the Home makes a wish & it will be granted. For the same, Mix the Fruits in Clockwise, Anti Clockwise and Clockwise direction again by turning the Ladle in same direction 3 times & don’t forget to Make a Wish!
Always mix your Dry Ingredients first while preparing for a Cake/Pudding
The Butter should always be at Room Temperature
Instead of Brown Sugar, Regular White Sugar can also be used in this Recipe
Folding in one direction is the Most Important, as the Cake/Pudding Rises Very Well this Way!



Variation:
Another Version of this Yummy Pudding is with the below Ingredients:
All Purpose Flour- ¾ Cup
Salt- A pinch
Bread Crumbs- 3/4 Cup
Butter- 4 Tbsp.
Cinnamon - ½ Tsp., Powdered
Nutmeg- ½ Tsp., Powdered
Mace- 1/2 Tsp., Powdered
Fresh Lemon - ½ Tsp. Rind Grated
Brown Sugar- ½ Cup
Raisins- 1 Cup
Cherries- ¼ Cup
Lemon Peel- ¼ Cup, Finely Chopped
Almonds- ¼ Cup, Blanched, Peeled & Chopped
Carrot- ½ Cup, Peeled & Finely Chopped
Eggs- 3, Lightly Beaten
Orange Juice- ½ Cup
Sherry- 2 Tbsp.

Method:
Put the All Purpose Flour in a Sieve with Salt. Gently Sieve both and Keep Aside
Mix Breadcrumbs in with the Flour
Add the Butter in the Flour-Breadcrumb mixture
Add Lemon Rind, Sugar, Powdered Spices. Dried Fruits, Fresh Peel and Nuts
Add Eggs, Carrot and Orange Juice
Add Sherry and let the Mixture to soak Covered Overnight
The Following Day, next Step would be to Transfer the Soaked Pudding Batter into 2 Moulds
Cover with Grease Proof Paper, Foil and Steam in a Double Boiler Continuously for 7 Hours at a Steady Temperature
Check to see if the Pudding is Done
Cover & Keep it Overnight to Cool
Reheat for a Minimum of 2 Hours just before Serving
Optionally can use Golden Sultanas (these are Dried Seedless White Pale Green Grapes) ½ Cup & 2 Tbsp. Of Rum
For Baking, any desired Ceramic/Glass/Aluminum/Silicon mould can be used


Tips:


English- Saffron
Hindi- Kesar/Zafran
Telugu- Kunkumapuvvu
  

P.S:
Courtesy Master Chef India Season 2 & Sanjeev Kapoor’s Unique Recipes, I was reminded by our Loved Ones to Post for Christmas- Different Varieties of Plum Pudding!!

Feel free to share your views & do let us know how this one turned out :)

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