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Plum Pudding

Puddings and Sweet Deserts

Boiled sponge pudding made with dark fruit. The name appears to derive from the shape of the pudding, rather than its contents as very few receipts actually contain plums. (Mrs.B, etc)

Original Receipt from 'Modern Domesic Cookery' by Elizabeth Hammond (Hammond 1819)

Common plum-pudding,
Take a pound of flour, a pound of shred suet, and a pound of currants, one egg, beaten up in milk, some lemon and spice to fancy, and a glass of brandy. This pudding will be very good, and requires to be boiled thee or four hours.

Original Receipt in 'The Book of Household Management', 1861, edited by Isabella Beeton (See Mrs.B)

1326. INGREDIENTS: 1-1/2 lb. of muscatel raisins, 1-3/4 lb. of currants, 1 lb. of sultana raisins, 2 lbs. of the finest moist sugar, 2 lbs. of bread crumbs, 16 eggs, 2 lbs. of finely-chopped suet, 6 oz. of mixed candied peel, the rind of 2 lemons, 1 oz. of ground nutmeg, 1 oz. of ground cinnamon,1/2 oz. of pounded bitter almonds, 1/4 pint of brandy.
Mode: Stone and cut up the raisins, but do not chop them; wash and dry the currants, and cut the candied peel into thin slices. Mix all the dry ingredients well together, and moisten with the eggs, which should be well beaten and strained, to the pudding; stir in the brandy, and, when all is thoroughly mixed, well butter and flour a stout new pudding-cloth; put in the pudding, tie it down very tightly and closely, boil from 6 to 8 hours, and serve with brandy-sauce. A few sweet almonds, blanched and cut in strips, and stuck on the pudding, ornament it prettily. This quantity may be divided and boiled in buttered moulds. For small families this is the most desirable way, as the above will be found to make a pudding of rather large dimensions.
Time: 6 to 8 hours. Average cost: 7s. 6d.
Seasonable: in winter. Sufficient: for 12 or 14 persons.
Note: The muscatel raisins can be purchased at a cheap rate loose (not in bunches): they are then scarcely higher in price than the ordinary raisins, and impart a much richer flavour to the pudding.

This unusual version uses root vegetables, and makes it very clear that 'plum' does not refer to the fruit:

Original Receipt from Launceston Weekly News, and Cornwall & Devon Advertiser. - Saturday 02 June 1877

Plum Pudding—Take 1 lb. of potatoes and 1 lb. of carrots, and boil and mash them well; when quite cold add 1 lb. flour, 1 lb. of currants, 1 lb. of raisins, 1 lb of raw sugar, Box. of snot, small quantity salt, and a grated nutmeg "mixed or other spices, and candid peels may be added to the above if approved. Have mould ready and fill it as full as it is possible, and tie it up very closely and boil from four to six hours. This, like most plum puddings, if kept in dry place will keep for months. Bo not take the cloth off till the pudding required for table.

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