Top 100 Cake Blog

Top 100 Cake Blog

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Holiday Plum Pudding with Crimson Sauce

Growing up Jewish in the midwest, and even living here in New York City, I had never before laid eyes upon plum pudding (much less tasted it) before I made this vintage version on Sunday.  I'm pleased to report it is delicious and was a big hit at our belated  family potato latke party.

The c. 1950s American recipe I used does not appear to be traditional, as most plum puddings are baked in a mold, then turned out from said mold, doused with alcohol and flambeed in the kitchen, or table side for a dramatic presentation. But I do think this version has the ability to be baked and presented that way.

I also was astonished to discover that plum pudding (also called Christmas pudding) contains no plums; the name refers to raisins, which is apparently what the British called plums when this dish was created in medieval England.  It is also more of a cake than a pudding, and also has no flour -- relying on bread cubes instead.

Chop some walnuts (the recipe called for "nuts" which often refers to walnuts in vintage recipes) and breaking from tradition, this recipe offered a choice of raisins or dates.  Not being a raisin fan, I used dates.

Mix all the ingredients in a bowl before pouring into a buttered casserole dish.

My pudding runneth over during baking (and I've yet to summon the courage to face the floor of my oven, but soon!).  Place the dish on a cookie sheet or some foil before baking to prevent such tragedy in your own oven.

While the pudding is ruining your oven baking, start the crimson sauce, a bright combination of cranberries, honey, butter and fresh lemon juice.


  1. I'm not sure when the switch from plums to raisins happened, but I can tell you that the Brits still use pudding as a general term for dessert. Hence plum "pudding."

    In my experience, plum pudding is doused in rum sauce. Personally, I like the idea of cranberries much better.

  2. I think this looks very good and I have never had plum pudding either. This looks perfect though to serve after latkes, maybe with a few rugelach on the side!