For the past few months, I’ve been “playing” with holiday puddings and desserts – four of them to be exact. Two of the desserts, Christmas Pudding and Fig Jam-Pecan Cake with Bourbon, require pre-planning and several weeks of storing before they should be eaten, while the two others, Date-Nut Sticky Toffee Pudding and Figgy Pudding, may be steamed and eaten the same day they are prepared. Over the next few weeks, you may expect to see these recipes, with details sufficient to make them fun, rather than a chore to prepare. I started with Christmas Pudding, something I’ve never made before and for which you’ll need beef suet. (Beef suet is the fat surrounding the kidney and loin area.) And, don’t be squeamish about the suet – quality suet does not taste like typical beef fat and will give your pudding the texture and velvety mouth-feel that made Victorian-era puddings legendary. If you know a good butcher, finding suet shouldn’t prove a challenge. Authentic English-style Christmas Pudding is traditionally served at Christmas Day dinner, with the mixing of the pudding taking place on “Stir-up Sunday,” (the last Sunday before Advent), which, this year, falls on November 24. Enjoy Christmas Pudding with hard sauce, made with butter, sugar and some spirits, or if you prefer, English Cream.
Sue Ade is a syndicated food writer with broad experience and interest in the culinary arts. She has worked and resided in the Lowcountry of South Carolina since 1985 and may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.