If you had planned to make an authentic Christmas pudding weeks ago, one that needed aging before it could be eaten on Christmas, and just didn’t get around to it, don’t worry. You can still make Figgy Pudding, or Date-Nut Sticky Toffee Pudding, both of which are tightly covered, steamed on a rack over simmering water and cooked for enjoying the same day they are made. Pudding molds or basins are ideal for making either of these puddings, but a deep ovenproof bowl will do, as well. Whenever you are lifting the lids off pots or foods that are involved in steaming, be it to add more water to the cooking pan, or to check to see if a steamed food is done, make sure you allow the steam to escape slowly from the side furthest away from you to avoid getting a steam burn. If you think you might get distracted during the steaming process and there’s a chance your steaming pot could run dry, place a fork beneath the steaming rack. You’ll hear it knocking around while there’s still water remaining in the pan. Steamed puddings are glorious served with sauce, be it hard sauce, toffee sauce or your favorite soft custard sprinkled with a little fresh ground nutmeg. Steamed puddings have been a time-honored tradition at holiday tables for centuries. Maybe it’s time to make the tradition one of yours.
Sue Ade is a syndicated food columnist 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 or 843-683-0375.