Sunday, April 20, 2014

Happy Easter!

In this never ending winter, my friend Tonia came up with the idea to have a second Christmas to make the time go by faster to Easter. She thought it called for making Julia Child's Christmas Pudding. I've always thought about making a Christmas pudding, but never had given in a try. So, back on March 1, I put together this very rich mixture and steamed it on a very snowy weekend before Lent began. The pudding then sat in the fridge, getting better and better, all through Lent. I broke it out for Easter dinner at a friends' house. We did flame it, but since it was so bright and sunny (unlike a Christmas day) the flame wasn't visible. 

Julia Child’s Glorious Christmas Pudding Recipe

3 cups white bread crumbs, lightly packed (about a 1/2 lb. loaf, crust on)
1 cup black raisins
1 cup yellow raisins
1 cup currants, chopped
1 1/3 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon mace
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
8 oz. (2 sticks) butter, melted
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
few drops of almond extract
1/2 cup bitter orange marmalade

For flaming:
1/2 cup rum or whiskey

Toss the bread crumbs in a large mixing bowl with the raisins, sugar and spices. Then toss with the melted butter, and finally with the rest of the ingredients.

To steam, you must use a container with a very tight lid which will stay sealed throughout the cooking, about 6 hours.

Pack the pudding mixture into the container; cover with a round of wax paper and the lid. Set the container on the steamer in the pot, and add enough water to come a third of the way up the sides of the container. Cover the pot tightly, bring to a simmer, and steam about 6 hours. Check occasionally to make sure the water hasn’t boiled off.

The pudding is done when it is a dark walnut-brown color and fairly firm to the touch. Store in the refrigerator for several weeks or months.

To serve, resteam for two hours and unmold onto a platter. Pour hot rum or whiskey around the pudding. Flame at the table.

Yield: Makes 6 cups baked in an 8-cup mold, serving 12 or more.

Source: “The Way to Cook,” by Julia Child

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