Forget Figgy Pudding. You want to tantalize your taste buds and impress your guests? Serve this!
A traditional Christmas pudding is steamed in a mold on the stove top. (Just like you would steam vegetables). The mold should have a lid that you can clamp shut. If you don’t have a lid you can wrap foil around it and tie it on firmly with kitchen string. Pudding molds are smaller than bundt pans and come in many different shapes. In a pinch, you can use a tin coffee can. But the fluted look that traditional pudding molds give is certainly more elegant.
Based on a Gourmet magazine recipe my sister Signe had from the 80’s, this recipe has been changed a bit (golden raisins exchanged for prunes and other goodies as with the persimmon bread) and created this masterpiece. We look forward to it every Christmas eve. I prefer it with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream sprinkled with nutmeg. Others might like a traditional English “hard sauce.” Any way you serve it, it’s incredible!
1 1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 cup flour
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1 Tbs baking soda
1 1/2 cup ripe persimmon pulp
1 cup chopped pecans
1 1/2 cup golden raisins (original recipe called for prunes)
3/4 cup brandy
2 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 tsp lemon juice
3/4 cup butter, melted and cooled to lukewarm
Mix first 4 ingredients. In bowl, stir soda with 3 Tbs hot water, then add persimmons and eggs and blend well. (I like to thoroughly purée the persimmon pulp before I use it). Add the sugar-flour mixture, raisins, nuts, 1/3 cup brandy, vanilla, lemon juice, and butter. Mix well.
Pour into buttered 9-10 cup mold. Place on rack in deep pan or pot (lid of mold should be facing up). Add 1-2 inches water to pan. Cover pan and steam over medium heat until pudding is firm when lightly pressed—about 2-2 1/2 hours. Check every so often while steaming and make sure water in pan does not go dry, add water if needed. Uncover, let stand about 15 minutes on rack. Invert on dish and serve.
You can wrap in cheesecloth, moisten with 3-4 Tbs brandy. Wrap in foil to store up to two weeks. Freeze for longer storage. To reheat, steam foil wrapped pudding for 45 minutes.