Recipes

Christmas "Plum" Bread Pudding

Serves:
16
Prep Time:
3 hours
Cook Time:
90 min

Ingredients

Nutrition Facts

Fruit and Spices

  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) dried figs, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) prunes, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) seedless raisins
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) candied cherries, chopped
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) dried cranberries
  • 2 apples, grated
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) ground allspice
  • 2 tsp (10 mL) ground ginger
  • 2 tsp (10 mL) cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp (2.5 mL) clove
  • 1/2 tsp (2.5 mL) nutmeg
  • 3 tbsp (45 mL) brandy or rum
  • 2 tsp (10 mL) vanilla extract

Dry Ingredients

  • 8 cups (2 L) diced brioche, Italian panetone, or challah
  • 1 cup (250 mL) fine, dried breadcrumbs

Custard

  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups (375 mL) 35% cream
  • 1 1/2 cups (375 mL) buttermilk
  • 1 cup (250 mL) packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) black treacle (or molasses)
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) melted butter

“Eggnog” Crème Anglaise

  • 6 egg yolks
  • 1/3 cup (75 mL) sugar
  • 1 cup (250 mL) 35% cream
  • 1 cup (250 mL) 10% blend cream
  • 1 fl oz (30 mL) spiced or white rum
  • 1/4 tsp (1.25 mL) grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp (1.25 mL) allspice
  • 1/8 tsp (0.5 mL) clove

Instructions

Pudding

  1. Place all the candied fruit in a bowl with all the spices and add the brandy or rum and vanilla. Mix very well and place in a sealed container and macerate for at least 2 hours, preferably overnight.

  2. In a second very large mixing bowl, combine all the dry ingredients and mix well.

  3. Beat together the eggs, 35% cream, buttermilk, brown sugar, treacle, and melted butter. Stir until the sugar dissolves in the liquid.

  4. Add the fruit mixture to the dry ingredient bowl and mix well until the fruit seems to be evenly distributed. Now add the wet ingredients to this fruit and bread bowl and mix well until you have a thick, wet batter. Allow the pudding mixture to sit for 1 hour in the fridge so the eggs and cream custard absorb into the bread.

  5. Prepare a couple of large ceramic bowls or several smaller ramekins by either spraying with food release or by rubbing a little butter inside each. Then line each bowl or ramekin with a piece of plastic wrap, ensuring there is lots of excess hanging over the sides.

  6. Fill each container with the pudding batter until it is level across the top, then fold over the plastic wrap until it covers the batter completely. Then, place a piece of aluminum foil over each one and tie it tightly at the top using a piece of string.

    Preheat your oven to 300°F (160°C). Place each vessel of pudding in a large casserole or roasting pan and fill the pan with boiling water until the water goes halfway up the sides of the vessels. Bake in this water bath for 45 to 90 minutes. The time will entirely depend on the size of each pudding (for example, a 1-lb pudding can feed 6 people and takes about 90 minutes).

    Tip: You can test the puddings by tapping the centre with your finger, looking for firmness. Or you can use a cake tester or bamboo skewer and see if the batter is set in the middle. Once it come out clean, remove the pan from the oven and then each vessel from the hot water. Allow them to cool completely before turning them out.

  7. When ready to serve, unwrap each pudding. You can serve them traditionally by pouring hot brandy or rum over the top, lighting them in a beautiful blue blaze, or you can simply reheat it in a microwave oven for 30 seconds per portion. This is quite an effective method and prevents the pudding from drying out should you attempt to reheat in an oven. Serve the pudding warm with the eggnog crème anglaise.

“Eggnog” Crème Anglaise

  1. Whisk egg yolks and sugar together until light in color and will form ribbons when drizzled from the whisk.

  2. Put both creams in a pot and bring to a simmer, scalding the mixture for a few minutes.

  3. Slowly temper the egg and sugar mixture with the hot cream by pouring it slowly into the bowl and stirring continuously. When all the hot cream is in the eggs, add the rum and spices and place the bowl over a pot of simmering water.

  4. Cook the custard over the water until it thickens, stirring slowly with a rubber spatula. When it coats the back of the spatula, remove it from the stove and place the hot custard over a large bowl of ice water. Stir for 10 minutes until the custard is chilled.

  5. Strain the crème anglaise through a fine meshed strainer, then refrigerate until ready to serve.