Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Now Bring Me Some Figgy Pudding.

In response to my patchwork post, Erin says, "I have no idea what you have hung up or why or what is in it."

Just like the figgy pudding in the Christmas song and like many other Christmas puddings made throughout the ages, it is simply a fruit cake that has been boiled/steamed. (In England, pudding is often slang nowadays for dessert also.) To most Australians, when you say chocolate pudding or sticky date pudding, they'll automatically think of something that looks like this. A cake that has been baked or boiled so that there is sauce in the bottom of the pan. It is of course usually served with icecream thusly. I don't know if I'll ever connect what Americans think of as pudding with the term pudding. To me it's a milk based gelatine or perhaps instant flavoured custard.

My particular Christmas pudding recipe contains:
Suet(rendered beef fat suitable for human consumption)
Flour
Breadcrumbs
Brown Sugar
Eggs
Brandy
Bicarb soda/baking soda
Hot water
Mixed Fruit (Sultanas/golden raisins, Raisins, Currants, Mixed Peel, Glace Cherries)
Extra mixed peel
Blanched almonds
Chinese five spice
Nutmeg
Allspice

After mixing, the batter is placed on a square of muslin/calico cloth, tied closed then boiled for three hours. If we were eating it straight away, I'd boil it for five hours. But, it's much more flavourful if left to hang/cure for at least four weeks. Then boiled for another two hours before serving piping hot with whichever accompaniment ya like best.

It does taste different to fruitcake. I detest Christmas fruitcakes, especially the boiled kinds with loads of brandy soaked into them. But Christmas pudding, I adore. And to me, it is part of what Christmas is about. I have vivid memories of helping Dad to make it every year since I was fairly young. I'll always associate the smell of Brandy with making puds too. My how times have changed since I used to hold my nose, because I couldn't stand the smell of it, before pouring it into the bowl. LOL

Hope that helps explain what it is in the pictures.

1 Nibbles:

cmae said...

I just love the word "pud!"