Christmas Cooking For Dummies
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A classic steamed Christmas pudding contains suet, which is animal fat. This recipe for Christmas pudding with rum cream excludes the suet and is much lighter as a result. Dried fruit and rum provide the rich flavor. Start this at least one day before serving. Kids can help measure and stir. Occasionally, it’s served flaming with a sprig of holly on top.

[Credit: © Palmer 2011]
Credit: © Palmer 2011

Old English custom calls for adding little metal charms to the batter of Christmas puddings. If one of these surprises lodges in your bridgework, it is said to indicate what type of fortune is ahead for you in the coming year. Finding a ring means you are to be married. A coin signifies wealth. A button heralds spinsterhood and a thimble bachelorhood.

Christmas Pudding is also called plum pudding because plums, specifically dried plums, are often included.

Christmas Pudding with Rum Cream

Special equipment: 2-quart pudding mold or heatproof glass bowl, large pot with lid able to hold mold, flat rack to fit inside pot

Preparation time: 20 minutes

Cooking time: 2 hours; overnight rest

Yield: 8 servings

1 cup raisins

1/2 cup golden raisins

1/2 cup dried cherries

1/2 cup diced dried figs

1/2 cup diced dried apricots

1/4 cup chopped candied orange peel

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon ginger

1/4 cup nutmeg

2/3 cup dark rum

1/4 cup orange juice

1/4 cup honey

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 cups fresh white breadcrumbs (8 slices bread)

1/3 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter at room temperature

1/2 cup lightly packed brown sugar

3 large eggs

  1. Combine all the dried and candied fruit with the spices, rum, orange juice, honey, and vanilla extract in a large bowl. Stir together well, cover with plastic wrap, and let sit at room temperature overnight.

  2. The next day, generously grease a 2-quart pudding mold.

  3. Stir together the breadcrumbs, flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.

  4. Beat the butter until it’s creamy in a large bowl with a flat paddle using an electric mixer on medium speed. Gradually beat in the sugar until the mixture is light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, scraping down the bowl once or twice.

  5. Stir the fruit mixture, including any liquid, into the butter and egg mixture. Stir in the dry mixture just until combined.

  6. Scrape into a pudding mold, smoothing the top. Attach the lid or, if using a bowl, cover tightly with aluminum foil.

  7. Place on a rack set in a large pot. Add enough boiling water to come halfway up the sides of the mold. Cover the pot and simmer gently on the lowest heat that maintains the simmer for about 13/4 hours or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the pudding comes out clean.

  8. Remove the pudding from the pot; set on cooling rack for about 5 minutes. Unmold the pudding onto a serving platter and serve immediately with rum cream. Alternatively, let the pudding cool completely, wrap it in plastic wrap, slip it into a large resealable bag, and refrigerate for up to one week. Bring back to room temperature before serving and reheat gently in a microwave on low power or insert back into the mold and re-steam until heated through.

Rum Cream

1 cup heavy cream

2 tablespoons sugar

1 tablespoon dark rum

  1. Beat the heavy cream and sugar until very soft peaks form.

  2. Whip in the rum.

Per serving: Calories 481 (From fat 135); Total fat 15g (Saturated 8g); Cholesterol 111mg; Sodium 295mg; Carbohydrates 85g (Dietary Fiber 5g); Protein 7g.

About This Article

This article is from the book:

About the book author:

Dede Wilson, CCP, contributes to Bon Appétit and Pastry and Design magazine and to NBC's Todayshow. She is also the Food and Entertaining expert for

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