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.