This recipe comes to me via my Aunt Julia. I was eager to try it as something I’ve never made before and I was excited to recreate my grandmother’s recipe. I had to track down a ‘pudding mold’ and luckily, my friend Julie loaned me hers and included an appropriate sized pot to steam it in. So. This ‘pudding’ is really what Canadians would consider more of a ‘cake’, however, this pudding is cooked by method of steaming instead of baking. The result is a moist Christmas pudding rich with nuts and fruit and just the smell alone will bring back memories of childhood Christmas dinners. An original pudding like this would be served with ‘hard sauce’ which is basically a sugar sauce, but I would serve it with a vanilla or rum raisin frozen yogurt or ice cream. I have to draw the line at ‘hard sauce’ – more like, ‘hard on your liver sauce’.
It’s going to seem like a long list of ingredients, but the method is really easy. I assemble all my ingredients the night before then mix it up the next day.
Grandma’s Christmas Pudding
I cup vegetable shortening, melted
I cup raisins
I cup pecans (or nuts of your choice)
I cup grated carrot
1 cup grated potato
I cup fancy molasses
1/2 cup orange juice
1 1/2 cups breadcrumbs
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cloves
grated rind of 1 orange
Prepare pudding mold by greasing liberally with butter. Place about 3 inches of water in steaming pot.
Mix together wet ingredients and fruit (first 8 ingredients). Mix together dry ingredients (next 8 ingredients) and orange rind.
Combine wet and dry ingredients together until just mixed.
Fill mold allowing about 1 1/2 inches from top. Press a circle of parchment paper on top of batter, then cover with a pleated piece of foil and secure tightly. (to allow for rising). You will probably have some batter left over depending on size of mold. Refrigerate any remaining batter and make another pudding after the first one is done. (assuming you don’t have more than one mold).
Bring water to a boil, place mold in pot, and steam for 2 hours. A gentle simmer is all that is required, as long as the water is boiling continually.
Remove mold from pot, cool for 20 minutes. Gently loosen sides of pudding and unmold onto plate. Brush with rum if desired.
Once cooled, wrap in cheesecloth and cling film or foil and store in refrigerator for up to six months. To serve, re-steam for half an hour. Serve warm with ice cream. Enjoy!