Plum Porridge, or Plum Pottage or Christmas Pottage is widely mentioned up to the 19th Century. Bradley 1728 gives a receipt consisting of beef boiled with beer, cloves, apples and raisins. Glasse 1747 has dried fruit boiled with barley, water, wine and mace.
Samuel Pepys celebrated Christmas 1662 with "a mess of brave plum porridge and a roasted pullet."
It may be the dish referred to in:
Little Jack Horner
Original Receipt in 'The Art of Cookery, Made Plain and Easy' by Hannah Glasse, 1747 (Glasse 1747);
To make plum-porridge for Christmas.
TAKE a leg and shin of beef, put them into eight gallons of water, and boil them till they are very tender, and when the broth is strong strain it out; wipe the pot and put in the broth again; then slice six penny loaves thin, cut off the top and bottom, put some of the liquor to it, cover it up and let it stand a quarter of an hour, boil it and strain it, and then put it into your pot. Let it boil a quarter of an hour, then put in five pounds of currants clean washed and picked; let them boil a little, and put in five pounds of raisins of the sun, stoned, and two pounds of prunes, and let them boil till they swell; then put in three quarters of an ounce of mace, half an ounce of cloves, two nutmegs, all of them beat fine, and mix it with a little liquor cold, and put them in a very little while, and take off the pot; then put in three pounds of sugar, a little salt, a quart of sack, a quart of claret, and the juice of two or three lemons. You may thicken with sago instead of bread, if you please; pour them into earthen pans, and keep them for use. You must boil two pounds of prunes in a quart of water till they are tender, and strain them into the pot when it is boiling.
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