Old England comes West in this mellow steamed pudding.
Moist and rich right from the steamer, and even more so when mellowed by a few weeks' aging, this Christmas pudding (shown on page 79) is traditional in shape and preparation, but Western in ingredients. Ripe persimmons contribute color and tender texture: dried prunes and nuts add to the flavor blend. Serve warm with the whipped soft sauce.
Steam the pudding in a pudding mold with lid, or a deep metal bowl of equal size covered with foil; secure the foil snugly with string.
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 tablespoon baking soda Water
1 1/2 cups ripe persimmon pulp
1 1/2 cups chopped pitted prunes
1 cup coarsely chopped almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, or pistachios
3/4 cup brandy
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice
3/4 cup (3/8 lb.) butter or margarine, melted and cooled to lukewarm
Soft sauce (recipe follows)
Mix together sugar, flour, cinnamon, and nutmeg. In a bowl, stir soda with 3 tablespoons hot water, then mix in persimmon pulp and eggs; beat until blended. Add sugar mixture, prunes, nuts, 1/3 cup brandy, vanilla, lemon juice, and butter. Stir until evenly mixed.
Scrape batter into a buttered 9-to 10-cup pudding mold, either plain or tubeshaped; cover tightly. Place on a rack in a deep 5- to 6-quart (or larger) pan. Add 1 inch water, cover pan, and steam over medium heat until pudding is firm when lightly pressed in the center, about 2 1/4 hours for tube mold, 2 1/2 hours for plain mold. Add boiling water as needed to keep about 1 inch in pan.
Uncover pudding and let stand on a rack to cool slightly, about 15 minutes. Invert onto a dish; lift off mold and serve.
If made ahead, let cool. If desired, wrap pudding in a single layer of cheesecloth and moisten evenly with 3 to 4 tablespoons brandy. Wrap airtight in foil and refrigerate up to 2 weeks; freeze to store longer (thaw wrapped). To reheat, steam foil-wrapped pudding (discard cheesecloth) on a rack over 1 inch boiling water in a covered 5-to 6-quart pan until hot, about 45 minutes.
To flame pudding, warm remaining brandy, ignite, and pour over pudding (away from flammable items). Slice and serve with soft sauce. Makes 8 to 10 servings.
Soft sauce. Whip 2 egg whites until they hold soft peaks; gradually whip in 1/2 cup powdered sugar until whites hold stiff peaks. With same beater, whip 2 egg yolks with 1/2 cup powdered sugar and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla until very thick. Fold whites and yolks together. Serve, or keep at room temperature up to 2 hours; stir and serve. Makes about 2 1/4 cups.
Photo: Test for doneness like a cake; center of pudding should spring back when touched
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|Date:||Dec 1, 1984|
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