Plum pudding is a traditional holiday dessert that goes back hundreds of years. And it doesn’t actually contain plums: just raisins and candied fruit. In the 17th century, “plum” meant any dried fruit. Traditionally, you make it a year ahead so it can age, but even a couple of weeks will do, so don’t worry about getting a late start. You can start another one after the holidays and you’ll be all set for next year, too!
Plum pudding is a steamed pudding, cooked for many hours in a slow oven. We sped this up by using our Instant Pot counter top pressure cooker, to reduce the time to just 2 hours. The recipe we are using is half the original, which makes a slumgullion of pudding, and even then we did it two batches, one in a Mrs Anderson’s Baking Steamed Pudding Mold, and a smaller one-hour amount in a small bowl wrapped in foil.
- ½ lb seedless raisins
- ½ lb golden raisins
- ¼ lb currants
- ½ cup thinly slice citron
- ½ cup chopped candied peel
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- ¼ tsp mace
- 14 tsp nutmeg
- 1/8 tsp ground cloves
- 1/8 tsp allspice
- 1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- ½ lb finely chopped suet (powdery fine)
- 5/8 cup brandy
- 5/8 cup fresh bread crumbs, (about 2 cups)
- ½ cup warm milk
- ½ cup sherry or port
- 6 eggs, well beaten
- ½ cup sugar
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ cup softened butter
- 1 ½ cups sifted confectioner’s sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract or 2 Tb brandy or rum
Beat the softened butter in an electric mixer and slowly add the sugar. Add the vanilla or brandy and served with the plum pudding.
Making the pudding
- Blend the fruits, citron, spices and suet in a bowl or jar.
- Add 1/8 cup brandy, cover tightly and refrigerate for 2-4 days, adding more brandy each day.
- When ready to mix up the pudding, mix the milk and sherry or port together.
- Soak the breadcrumbs in the milk/ wine mixture.
- Combine the beaten eggs and sugar and blend with the fruit mixture.
- Add salt and mix thoroughly.
- Put the pudding in a buttered pudding mold or buttered bowls. With the pudding mold we bought, we get about 2/3 of the batter in it. Cover with foil to seal it and keep out the moisture.
- Put a cup of water in the Instant Pot, add the trivet, and place the pudding mold on the trivet.
- Seal the Instant Pot, and steam on Manual for 2 hours.
- Uncover and place in a 250° F oven for 30 minutes.
- Add a dash of brandy to the pudding, and store in a cool place.
- Repeat with the remaining batter in a small bowl covered securely with foil.
- Allow the pudding to age for a week or two, adding a dash of brandy every day or two.
- When ready to serve, reheat in the steamer, and unmold.
- Sprinkle with sugar, add heated brandy and ignite.
- Serve with hard sauce.