This recipe is based on “Tiny Tim’s Plum Pudding” recipe at the Taste of Home website. I see this same recipe on many sites so I can’t give credit to the original author but I can link to the site where I first found it. My modifications have been minor because it is a fine recipe to start with. But I made a few changes and notes that made a significant difference.
1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
3 large eggs, room temperature
3/4 cup dry bread crumbs
1/2 cup flour
1 tablespoon grated orange zest
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 – 15 oz cans whole plums, drained, pitted, chopped
1-3/4 cups chopped Medjool dates
2/3 cup raisins
1/3 cup dried cherries
1 cup golden raisins (sultana raisins)
1/2 cup dried currants
1 cup shredded carrots
1 oz brandy
Mix all dried fruit ingredients in a bowl with the brandy.
Generously grease an 8 cup pudding mold or two 4 cup pudding molds.
In a medium size bowl, mix bread crumbs, flour, orange zest, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, baking soda, and salt.
In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each.
Gradually add the spice/bread crumb/flour mixture.
Drain the brandy from the dried fruits. Add the chopped dates and mix well so that the dates are well distributed.
Fold the fruits into the mixture in the large bowl.
Transfer to the pudding mold(s). Cover tightly with heavy foil and tie the foil with string to secure it.
Place on a rack in a stockpot with about 2 to 3 inches of hot water. Bring to a gentle boil and steam the pudding for 2 to 2-1/2 hours or until a toothpick in the center comes out clean. Add water as needed to prevent the stockpot from drying out.
Remove the pudding from the stockpot and let cool for 5 or 10 minutes before removing from the mold.
If serving immediately, prepare the Hard Sauce, unmold the pudding onto a serving plate, and serve warm.
- For best results, use fresh spices. Zest a whole orange instead of using dried zest from the store. Grate nutmeg from a whole nut. You get the idea.
- Use light or dark brown sugar. I prefer dark.
- For dramatic presentation, pour a couple of ounces over the pudding, turn out the lights, and set it on fire when bringing it to the table.
- Don’t use dried, already chopped dates. Use ‘fresh’ dates. They are messy to pit and chop but the result is well worth it. This alone makes a major difference in the final result.
- For a smaller group, use two 4 cup molds. Serve one immediately and freeze the other. (Unmold it, wrap it in cheesecloth or plastic wrap, put it back in the mold, cover well and freeze.)
- Make sure you have a way to get the hot molds out of the stockpot. I used string to create a simple kind of hanging basket that I could lift out easily.