Zorra hosts this month's Sugar High Friday, "The Proof is in the Pudding."
Fat around the kidneys [suet] is specifically proscribed from use, as is fat from ox, sheep and goats [Lev 3:3-5], so I use butter in the preparation of my puddings.
Poudin bouilli. Boiled Pudding
1 cup chopped, candied citrus peel [I used grapefruit, lemon and orange]
1 cup currants [Zantes not Ribes]
2 cups raisins [regular or golden]
2 Tablespoons brandy [I used vin noix]
1 cup butter [2 sticks]
2 cups sugar [either brown or white or mixture]
1 ½ cups flour
1 teaspoon nutmeg
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon white pepper
¼ teaspoon galingale
½ teaspoon ginger
3-5 cups day-old bread crumbs, crusts removed
Blanche for 30 seconds in boiling water your dried currants and remove to a bowl and cover with brandy.
Cream butter and sugar and add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each. Sift dry ingredients together, except crumbs, and stir into creamed mixture. Fold in peels, raisins, currants and 3 ½ cups of crumbs. Let mixture sit for one half hour. If mixture appears to be too moist, fold in more bread crumbs until mixture looks right to your eye.
In the meanwhile, boil your pudding cloth [1 yard cotton muslin] for half an hour to remove soap residue and to sterilize cloth. Wring out cloth and flour heavily in the center, pour your batter onto cloth and tie your pudding up. Suspend inside kettle of boiling water and tie to handles of kettle to keep pudding from settling on the bottom. Keep the kettle filled with boiling water and boil pudding for about 2 hours or until done. Hang pudding in cloth for about 15 minutes, then cut string invert onto serving platter and carefully peel back pudding cloth. Allow to cool before serving. The outside of the pudding will darken with time.
If you wish to keep if for several days, cover with cheesecloth and drizzle with brandy to keep moist and fresh.
See also my posts on baked mincemeat pudding, steamed fig pudding and 18thC French puddings.