OK, here's the thing. I want to surprise DH who loves Xmas pud, as we will be spending Xmas in Italy where we live. I have never made one, but I have got various recipes from the Good Food mag and I am a confident cook. I have some questions though:
- When should I start making it? Does it matter that it will still be rather warm in September/early Oct or will it spoil the pudding? - I am a bit worried re: feeding with alcohol. How come it does not go mouldy if you keep adding liquid? Is there anything I should be aware of in this process? - Can I steam it in the microwave? I do not have one of those special steaming devices - Can I choose the fruit I put in? I am not too fond of candied peel (unless home made) or glace cherries, so can I substitute with prunes et al? - Suet is unheard of here; what is a substitute I can use?
Xmas pudding is what is wrong with the world IMHO! on the other hand, I do see that some people like it although can't understand why. Suet is merely the fat surrounding the kidneys of beasts (not sure which species though), if you have enough italian, you could ask your friendly local butcher if you can have some. Alternatively, you must have a british food shop in Italia, either physically or online. I can recommend britfood.ch for mail order otherwise.
Xmas pud is gorgeous and we eat it more than once a year!!
The alcohol is a preservative. Do you want me to post you some suet? Prunes will be very medaeval but probably okay as long as not too many. Can't advise on steaming a I don't have a mirowave. Don't forget the coin wrapped in greaseproof paper!
Thanks all - kreecher, I actually hate Xmas pudding! I think you have to have been born in Britain to like it, like DH.
Melted, thanks for the advice - will take the plunge then (love the idea of a medieval one). Do not worry about suet - I will go to my butcher and ask about the fat surrounding the kidneys and see what I get... Will keep you posted!!!!
AHA! that will sort the Brits out from the rest. You must bury coins in the pudding (it's some sort of fertilty/wealth prediction from ye olden tymes) if you want some suet, please contact me I am assuming that's possible). The most reasonable and least time consuming, kidney grating alternative is to see what M+s, Waitrose, Tesco whoever have to offer for delivery on the website. Sprryl beers in sense is out