Sunday, December 25, 2005

Date pudding

Recipe coming soon...Merry Christmas!

Update 12/29

Whew...time keeps getting away from me! But here's that recipe I promised. It's adapted from The Joy of Cooking, and it's a very manageable size; it fits a 4-cup pudding mold. If you don't have a metal mold with a tight-fitting lid, I'm told you can use a bowl with a towel tightly tied over it. However, I can't vouch for that method, since I haven't tried it.

This is especially nice served with hard sauce (the version I like is basically a butter-and-powdered-sugar frosting with a tablespoon each of brandy and coffee whipped into it). The sauce is solid until it makes contact with the warm pudding, and then it melts. Mmmm!


1 c. packed dark brown sugar
1/4 c. unsalted butter
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/4 c. all-purpose flour, sifted
2 2/3 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1 c. lowfat milk
3/4 c. chopped dates
1/2 c. chopped pecans (optional)

Before you start combining ingredients, set up your steaming pot. In the bottom of a stockpot, place a metal trivet and/or some other device that will hold your pudding mold an inch or more off the bottom of the pot and allow complete circulation of steam. I use three English muffin rings with a shallow trivet on top. Anything will work, as long as it's heat- and water-resistant, is high enough off the bottom, and allows the steam to circulate. An inverted flat-bottomed metal colander might be good. They probably make something explicitly for this purpose, but whatever it is, I don't own one.
Add an inch of water to the bottom of the pot, put the lid on, and bring it to a simmer while you assemble the batter.
Heavily, thoroughly butter your pudding mold.
Cream together the brown sugar and butter. Add the egg and vanilla and keep beating until the mixture is creamy.
Sift the flour together with the baking powder and salt. Add to the butter mixture in three stages, alternating with the milk. After every addition, beat the batter until it is smooth.
Fold in the dates and nuts, then pour the batter into the mold. Clamp the lid on and place in the simmering stockpot.
Steam for 2 hours (first bringing the water to a boil, then reducing to a simmer for the remainder of the time). Try to avoid peeking, or you'll let all the steam out.
When the time is up, remove the mold from the pot and pop the top off. The pudding should be spongy and moist. Let it cool partway before unmolding it, or it will crack.