An Experiment- Victorian Christmas Plum Pudding

For those that don’t actually know me I must explain that I am a truly a dichotomy. I love technology and gadgets and there are a lot of things about modern life that I love. But I am also extremely old fashioned. I have a long list of time honored ways of doing things, I am well on my way to being a homesteader/self sufficient, and I believe the industrial revolution killed off a vast number of things that were right with society and life in general. Does that make me a hypocrite? In some ways I suppose it does. Do I particularly care? Not really. Things seem to be working out fairly well so far. Time will tell, I suppose.

So me being how I am, it’s only natural that I look to some thoroughly old fashioned traditions during the most tradition-rich time of year: Christmas. Last year I made a Yule Log cake, and it turned out beautifully.  The cake was incredibly tasty, I surprised even myself with how good it looked when decorated, and everyone loved it. Sadly, this year I am without an oven. This was a cause of distress because I, like most of the world, like to churn out a plethora of treats during Christmas time. I realized quickly that I would have to look to some different modes for treat-making this year. I will be making my family recipe for fudge, at least one other flavored fudge (there are so many it’s going to be hard to choose!), and a traditional British Plum, or Christmas, Pudding. This is a boiled dessert that is made several weeks- or even months- in advance. It is akin to fruitcake (as I’ve mentioned before, I have no problem with fruitcake) but is boiled instead of baked. The recipe I’m using is completely Victorian, meaning it has suet in it. I know perfectly well that this will turn people off of this dessert but it really isn’t as vile as everyone automatically assumes. Most people who are revolted at the thought of eating something with suet in it have never even tried. They’ve just been told for years that suet is disgusting so that’s what they believe. Give it a try before you turn your nose up at it. Or, if you’re really in the mood to be obstinate, you could make this recipe with butter. But it won’t turn out the same.

I got this recipe from the BBC TV show “Victorian Farm”. It’s one of our favorites and we watch it online fairly often. I took the recipe out of the book written to go along with the series, but you can also find it here if you’d like to check it out. I highly recommend at least checking out the link or possibly watching an episode. The link will take you to the page for “Victorian Farm Christmas”, which was a sequel to the original series. If you want to watch the original show, I would suggest trying here. The show is all about 3 historians who go to a Victorian era town (as in preserved in it’s Victorian state and the people who work there dress and act as Victorians) in England to renovate and live on a farm for a full calendar year as the Victorians would have done. It’s truly fascinating!

I will be making the pudding in the  coming week and will post the process next Wednesday. Please join me in what I hope will be a lasting Christmas tradition!

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