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RECIPES FROM THE RETRO HOUSEWIFE

DESSERT

CHRISTMAS PUDDING (Plum Pudding), American

Prepare at least a week before Christmas.

Ingredients

    Pudding

  • 1 1/2 cups seeded raisins
  • 3/4 cup soft white bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup currants
  • 3/4 cup suet (beer)
  • 1/2 cup candied orange peel and/or citron peel
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 full wine glass brandy or rum
  • Hard Sauce

  • Soft butter
  • equal quantities Rum or brandy
  • Powdered sugar
  • Custard Sauce

  • 5 egg yolks, beaten
  • 2 ozs. sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups milk or sherry
Preparation Instructions

Pudding

Prepare bread crumbs. Cut raisins in halves. Clean currants in little flour. Chop suet very fine or use grater. Cut candied peel in thin slices. Mix all these together. Stir in well beaten eggs. Lastly stir in brandy or rum and let everybody in the family stir and make a wish. Put this thick batter into a buttered earthenware, or possibly Pyrex bowl, and tie securely over the bowl a piece of white buttered paper and a floured cloth. Boil for 5 hours, with the level of boiling water kept constantly half-way up the bowl, in a covered saucepan. Afterwards, remove from water and allow any water to drain from the bowl. On Christmas day boil again for 2 hours and turn out of the bowl to serve. The pudding should be brought to the table steaming hot with a sprig of holly in the middle of it and a glass of brandy at hand to pour over it to be lit at the table. It is customary to accompany the pudding with hard sauce, or custard sauce, and to hide silver coins in pieces of pudding. (The coins must, of course, be found with the spoon before the pudding is eaten.)

Hard Sauce

Mix the above ingredients together to form a stiff smooth paste. Add rum or brandy to flavor and allow to harden in cool place until ready to serve. Serve in little square "pats" one on each serving of pudding.

Custard Sauce

Heat milk and sugar in a saucepan. Pour the moderately hot milk over the egg yolks, stirring briskly. Return mixture to the saucepan and stir over medium heat until the sauce coats the back of the spoon. DO NOT BOIL, or eggs will curdle. Flavor with rum or brandy (omit if sherry was used in place of milk) and serve.

Contributed by Mrs. Margaret Paroutaud, 1950

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I would like to thank Newspaperarchive for putting together such a fabulous service, and placing our Nation's history right at our fingertips. Many of these wonderful recipes are ones I stumbled upon quite by accident while sleuthing through the decades in my quest to assemble the world of the American housewife. RH

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