Christmas 2012. Pudding supplied by photographer's grandmother.

Christmas Puddings from Godey’s Lady’s Book in 1870

Few cooks are agreed about this good old English dish, each one considering her way the best. We have carefully selected several recipes relating to these old-time puddings, from which our readers can make a selection. We know that they will have good reason to be satisfied with any of them.

Plum Pudding — Beat up four eggs well; add to them, firs, half a pint of new milk and a teaspoonful of salt. Then mix in half a pound of beef suet, chopped very fine, a pound of raisins stoned and chopped, a quarter of a pound of brown sugar, one nutmeg grated, one ounce of candied peel cut into thin small strips; stir all well together, and add another half pint of new milk; then beat in sufficient flour to make it a stiff paste, add a glass of brandy and a glass of white wine. Tie it up close, and boil it, if in a mold or basin, five hours; if in a cloth, four; but the pudding is better, as well as shapelier, when boiled in a shape or mold. For Sauce, make some good melted butter, put in some loaf-sugar, a glass of white wine, and a glass of brandy; make it boil up, pour half of it over the pudding, and serve the rest in a lot sauce-boat. This pudding may be made with the grated crumb of household bread as well as with four; it is better so if to be eaten cold. Plum puddings may be made a fortnight or longer before they are wanted, and will be all the mellower for the keeping, if hung up in a dry place where they will not mold. Christmas plum pudding is often served with a sprig of holly stuck in the middle; this makes a pretty garnish.

A Good Christmas Plum Pudding — The pride of English cookery is the plum pudding, which continental nations despise, because they can never succeed in making it eatable; we may therefore be excused in giving several receipts, all tried and approved, though of various degrees of excellence. With one pound of clean dry currants and half a pound of good raisins stoned mix one pound of bread-crumbs, half a pound of fine flour, and one pound and a half of finely-shred suet; add a quarter of a pound of sifted sugar, a grated nutmeg, a drachm of cinnamon, two cloves, and half a dozen almonds pounded, and an ounce each of candied orange and lemon sliced thin; mix all the materials thoroughly together in a bowl with a glass of brandy and one of sherry; then beat very well six eggs, and slowly stir in till all be well blended; cover the bowl, and let the mixture stand for twelve hours; then pour it in a pudding cloth, and tie it, not very tight; put it into boiling water, and keep up the boiling for six hours. Serve with sugar sifted over, and wine or punch sauce. Brandy is usually sent in with a Christmas pudding to be poured over the whole pudding, or over each slice, then lighted, and served in flames.

Godey’s Lady’s Book— Louis Antoine Godey began publishing Godey’s Lady’s Book in 1830. He designed his monthly magazine specifically to attract the growing audience of literate American women. The magazine was intended to entertain, inform, and educate the women of America.

The Nonpareil Plum Pudding – Half a pound of best raisins stoned and chopped, half a pound of currants clean and dried, a quarter of a pound of candied lemon sliced thin, a quarter of a pound of candied orange sliced thin, half a nutmeg grated, half a teaspoonful of powdered cinnamon, half a saltspoonful of salt, the outer rind of two lemons grated, the juice of one lemon, one pound of fine bread-crumbs, three-quarters of a pound of finely-shred fresh suet, half a pound of powdered sugar, two glasses each of brandy and sherry, seven eggs. First beat the eggs, whites and yolks separately, very well; then add the spices, the salt, and the peels; then the sugar, the raisins, and the currants; next the crumbs and the suet; last of all the lemon-juice, the wine, and the brandy; beat all till very smooth; pour into a cloth, and boil for six hours. Serve with wine or punch sauce.

Doctor Kitchener’s Plum Pudding — Six ounces of finely-chopped suet, six ounces of Malaga raisins stoned and chopped, eight ounces of currants cleaned and dried, three ounces of fine bread-crumbs, three ounces of flour, three well-beaten eggs, the sixth of a nutmeg grated, the same of mace and cinnamon, four ounces of sugar, and half a teaspoonful of salt, half a pint of milk, one ounce of candied lemon sliced, half an ounce of citron sliced. Beat together the eggs and spices; mix in the milk by degrees; then add the rest of the ingredients, beating all thoroughly; pour into a damp floured pudding cloth, put it into boiling water, and keep up the boiling six hours.

Christmas Recipe - Godey's Lady's Book, December, 1870

Christmas Recipe – Godey’s Lady’s Book, December, 1870

Rich Plum Pudding — Beat up eight eggs, yolks and whites separately, and strain; mix them with a pint of thick cream; stir in half a pound of flour and half a pound of bread-crumbs rubbed through a colander; when well mixed, beat in one pound of beef suet chopped very fine, one pound of currants, one pound of finely-chopped raisins, one pound of powdered sugar, two ounces of candied lemon and two of citron, and a nutmeg grated; mix up all with half a pint of brandy or of wine; boil in a cloth for six or seven hours. Any of these Christmas puddings may be kept for a month after boiling, if the cloth in which they are made be replaced by a clean one, and the puddings be hung to the ceiling of a kitchen or any warm store-room; they will then be ready for use, and will require only one hour’s boiling to heat them thoroughly.

A Family Plum Pudding — Beat up four eggs, the whites and yolks separately; add to the yolks a quarter of a teaspoonful each of grated ginger, nutmeg, grated lemon-peel, and salt, four ounces of sugar, half a pound of flour, and half a pound of suet, and beat up the whole thoroughly with the whites of the eggs. Wine or brandy may be added if approved; but the pudding will be very good without this addition. Tie it in a cloth, and boil for six hours. Serve with any good pudding sauce.

Carrot Pudding, confessedly such, is given, to save our plum puddings from that humiliating intrusion. Mix in a bowl half a pound of flour, half a pound of chopped suet, three-quarters of a pound of grated carrots, a quarter of a pound of raisins stoned, a quarter of a pound of currants, and a quarter of a pound of sugar, brown or sifted white. Place these in a mold or dish; beat up two whole eggs and the yolks of four in a gill of milk, grate a little nutmeg in, and add it to the former. Bake or steam forty-five minutes.

Vesuvian Plum Pudding is sure to please the youngsters and perhaps the oldsters. On the top of the pudding cut out a hollow nearly as big as an ordinary wine glass. Warm in a small saucepan a wineglassful or more of good cognac. Let your assistant carry this, while you carry the pudding, to the dining-room door; arrived there, let her pour the cognac into the hollow, set light to it with a strip of paper (not a Lucifer match), open the door, and serve blazing.

Hunter’s Pudding — Mix together one pound of flour, one pound of finely-chopped suet, one pound of currants, one pound of chopped raisins, four ounces of sugar, the outer rind of half a lemon grated, six berries of allspice finely powdered, and a quarter of a teaspoonful of salt; when well mingled, add four well-beaten eggs, a glass of brandy, and one or two tablespoons of milk to reduce all to a thick batter; boil in a cloth nine hours, and serve with brandy sauce. This pudding may be kept for six months after boiling, if closely tied up; it will be required to be boiled an hour when it is to be used.

A Small Plum Pudding — Pour a cup of milk over a pound of fine bread-crumbs, and let them lie half an hour; then beat in four ounces of sugar, half a pound of suet chopped fine, half a pound of raisins chopped, and half a teaspoonful of grated lemon-peel; beat all well up with four eggs, and boil five hours.

The Hedgehog Plum Pudding — This very rich pudding is made as follows: One pound each of muscatel and sultana raisins chopped, one pound of currants, one pound of finely-chopped beef suet, one pound of fine moist sugar, two ounces each of candied citron, lemon, and orange sliced, half the rind of a lemon finely chopped, two ounces each of bitter and sweet almonds finely chopped, a nutmeg grated, half a teaspoonful of powdered ginger, the same quantity of salt, one pound of fine bread-crumbs, and three-quarters of a pound of flour. Mix these all thoroughly together; then beat up nine eggs and a wineglassful of ale, and stir into the pudding, beating it up till all is well blended; tie in a cloth, and boil for nine hours. Have ready four ounces of blanched almonds, and, as soon as the pudding is dished, stick them over it closely; make an opening in the center, and pour in two glasses of brandy.

Source: Godey’s Lady’s Book, December, 1870

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