MMMMM----- Recipe via Meal-Master (tm) v8.02
  
       Title: Our Family’s Plum Pudding 1992, II/II
  Categories: British, Christmas, Desserts, Fruits, Harned 1994
       Yield: 1 batch
  
            See below
  
   To steam the puddings:  Place each pudding in its own steaming
   container on a rack placed over gently boiling water (see note).
   Cover each kettle with a tight-fitting lid and steam puddings - 7
   hours for pudding in a 2-quart mold (6 tall, 7 across the top)
   filled 2/3 full; 6 hours for the smaller one.  Check the water level
   every hour or so, replenishing with boiling water as needed.
   
   When the pudding has finished steaming, uncover it and let it cool.
   Remove the pudding from the mold, if it is metal, and sprinkle 2 tb.
   or so of brandy, sherry, rum or fruit juice over the pudding.  Wrap
   it in clean, unbleached muslin, then wrap it in foil and store it in
   the refrigerator to ripen for at least three weeks.  Open from time
   to time and sprinkle judiciously with more liquor - or add it to the
   pudding cloth.
   
   When ready to serve, return to the pudding mold and steam as before
   for 1 1/2 hours.
   
   To serve: Place hot pudding on a warmed platter.  Place a sprig of
   holly in the center and decorate sparingly with candied fruit or
   angelica. Carefully warm several tablespoons of brandy, and pour a
   bit at the rim of the platter.  Ignite brandy with a long-stemmed
   match and carry flaming to the table.  Serve with hard sauce and/or
   brandy-flavored whipped cream.
   
   Yield: Each pudding serves 10 or more.  Makes 5 pounds of pudding or
   more.
   
   Note: The bottom of the pudding mold should be above the gently
   boiling water at all times so that the pudding is cooked by steam. It
   may take some ingenuity to find a way to raise the pudding above the
   water.
   
   Kluger wrote: “I steamed one pudding in a vegetable blancher, placing
   my canning funnel upside down in the perforated basket and placing the
   pudding mold on top of that.  The second 'steamer' was contrived by
   placing a flat-bottomed colander upside down in the bottom of a
   hot-water-bath kettle. This made a nice platform for the pudding to
   stand on - about 2 above the bottom of the pan.  Allow ample space
   between the pudding and the sides of the kettle so the steam can
   circulate.”
   
   Note: If you want to freeze one of the puddings, cool it after
   steaming. Wrap in moisture-vapor-proof freezer wrap and store at 0 F.
   for up to 1 year.  When ready to eat, unwrap and thaw loosely covered
   in the refrigerator.  Then return to the pudding mold and steam as
   directed above for serving.
   
   To make hard sauce:  Using the small bowl of an electric mixer, beat
   the butter until creamy.  Add confectioners' sugar gradually, beating
   until mixture is creamy, about 5 minutes.  Add the brandy.
   
   Press hard sauce through a pastry bag to form decorative shapes and
   decorate them with candied red cherry halves and green fruit peels.
   (If the mixture is too soft, place in refrigerator to stiffen.)
   
   From Special Writer Marilyn Kluger’s 11/25/92 “A Dickens of a Delight:
   Christmas Plum Pudding is a Holiday Treat Straight from Merry Olde
   England” article in “The (Louisville, KY) Courier-Journal.”  Pg. C7.
   Typed for you by Cathy Harned.
  
 MMMMM