Steamed puddings, plum pudding, and an easy winter dessert

I’ll admit it, I make plum pudding each year for Christmas.  I have a lot of recipes for plum pudding, and it isn’t the same each year.  It’s always different.  Some years, it has no candied fruit and is made solely with dehydrated fruits.  Some years its all candied fruit & raisins, some years its a mixture of many things.

This year’s recipe started looking like this:

Plum Pudding

  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup milk
  • 12 dates, pitted and chopped
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/4 cup dried currants
  • 1/4 cup candied mixed fruit peel, chopped
  • 1 orange, zested
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup self-rising flour
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 pinch salt


Well grease a pudding mold.

In a large saucepan combine butter, sugar, milk, dates, raisins, currants, mixed fruit peel and zest of the orange; bring to a boil. Remove from heat and stir in baking soda. Sift in the flour, cinnamon and salt; mix gently until blended. Pour into prepared pudding mold.

Cover with a double layer of greased wax paper and steam for 2 hours.

But that isn’t how I actually made it.  The ingredients I actually used read like this:

  • 1/4 1/2 c. buttermargarine
  • 1/3 c. packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup milk
  • 12 dates, pitted and chopped
  • 1/2 1 c. raisins
  • 1/4 cup dried currants
  • 1/4 1/2 c. candied mixed fruit peel, chopped
  • 1 orange, zested
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup self-rising flour
  • 1 tbsp. vanilla
  • 2 teaspoons 1 tbsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 pinch salt

Steamed puddings are incredibly easy to make, requiring minimal supervision.  Whether flamed or not, they have the ability to impress, especially when a nice shaped mold is used.  Never dry, always moist and dense, they can be savory, slightly sweet or very sweet, and contain almost anything.  They are also very forgiving and adaptable.  I actually served plum pudding on Christmas Eve, a meal prepared entirely outdoors, with the turkey breast roasted in a dutch oven on a campfire to incredibly moist perfection and the grand finale, the plum pudding, being steamed on a tiny multi-fuel stove.

That means anyone, even if they have no oven and cook on a single burner hot plate, can still prepare an impressive dessert by cooking a plum pudding or ANY steamed pudding, which is nothing like our modern puddings.  While a special mold is nice, almost anything can be used as a mold, even a coffee can covered by wax paper tied with a string!  Whatever you choose needs to have just over a quart in volume space inside, and be heat proof.  Plastic obviously isn’t a good choice.  puddings have even been wrapped in a triple layer of cheese cloth (or a piece from a t-shirt!) and tied with a string to make a batter filled pouch, and then hung or otherwise suspended above boiling water with a lid.

Moist, dense, delicious…and certain to put a smile on someone’s face!

About giascott

Writer, blogger, cook, grandmother, mother, wife, radio personality, outdoor enthusiast, dog enthusiast, crafter, artist, and part-time nut~~I've earned a lot of t-shirts in my day! I'm one of those crazy independent women who can cut down a tree, build you a shed, sew you a dress, cook your dinner, make some soap, pitch a tent, build a fire, catch some fish, dig in the garden, chase a kid or two, write you a poem, paint you a picture, and a dozen other things...just don't ask me to sing! I'm also embarking on a relatively new portion of my life, one of being disabled. I'm learning some lessons along the way about a lot of things too.
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