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Date and Nut Pudding

ebay stuff 017Photographs by Eva 2015

Two weeks ago I was at a flea market and happened to find the treasure of a vintage metal pudding mold.  Meaning to make a Christmas pudding this year for my Brit husband, I decided to first do a “test run” using a Date and Walnut Pudding recipe.  As you can see from the photograph above, it came out of the pan beautifully(you need to have it completely cool off before getting it out though).

So, what if you don’t have a specific pudding mold?  Bowls can be used as well as Mason jars(believe me, I’m trying the Mason jar technique soon…you get the ones with the square sides so that your pudding/cake will slide out of it…you just fill it 2/3 of the way).

Puddings are STEAMED.  This means the mold was placed in a pot half filled with boiling water and it steamed for 2 hours.  I had to keep putting water in so that it wouldn’t boil dry.  (Christmas puddings are supposed to be steamed for 5 hours…I don’t know if I have the patience for that one just yet).  Now, I have been reading about using your crockpot in doing the steaming(for about 8 hours)…that sounds like the way to go…so doing it with mason jars and in the crockpot is the next way I am doing it…will keep you informed.  If you try it, please let me know!

This particular recipe is from an English cookbook…Good Housekeeping Cookery Book, Ebury Press, London, 1998.

   Date and Walnut Pudding

  • 4 oz of butter softened(125 g)
  • 4 oz of sugar (125 g)
  • 3 beaten eggs
  • 6 oz of self rising flour(175 g) note…I just did the flour amount and added a teaspoon of baking powder to it since I didn’t have specific “self rising” flour.
  • 3 T milk(45 ml)
  • 3 oz of walnuts, toasted and roughly chopped(75 g)…be careful when you toast the walnuts..I burnt my first batch 😦
  • 6 oz of chopped dates(175 g)

   1. Put the butter, sugar, eggs, flour and milk in a bowl and beat until smooth.

   2.  Fold in the nuts and the dates.

   3. Spoon into a (well greased)  greased pudding basin(the mold, a bowl, or the mason jars) and smooth the surface.  Place a greased and pleated sheet of greaseproof paper over the bowl and then all a pleated layer of foil over…secure tightly under the rim with string.  (the mold had a lid already, so I didn’t have to do that.  The mason jars would just have their lids on.  The only way you would have to do the paper would be if you are using a bowl.)

 4. Sit the basin on a trivet in a large saucepan and add just enough boiling water to come halfway up the side of the basin.  Cover the pan and steam the pudding for 2 hours…checking the water level from time to time and topping with boiling water if necessary.

5. When done, lift the pudding out of the pan and leave to rest until you can get it out(if you are using the mason jars, you just let them sit til cool).

6. Technically you could serve it now, warm.  I waited til mine was cooled and wrapped it in foil to age a little in the fridge.

 7. When you are ready to serve it, you would heat it up in the microwave(traditionally they would steam it all over again…and if you were doing the mason jars, that would be a possibility…steam until they are warm).  I served it with whipped topping.  The original recipe called for a hot chocolate sauce(hot fudge sauce), but that’s too sweet for my taste anymore…or, hey, if you want both the hot chocolate sauce and the whipped topping, go for it!

   It is really delicious and I will definitely be making it again.  When I asked hubby how it was, his response was, “Fine”.  Trust me, my eyebrows went up.  “Fine?   Just Fine?  Does that mean I don’t make it again?”  He looked at me askance…”what?  it’s a 10, it’s a 10..please make it again!”

   Hope you enjoy it too…

   til next time…Eva

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Plum or Apple Kuchen…Time for Cake!

002020                                    All summer long it’s been way too hot to even think of putting the oven on to bake anything(my sister in law always tells my brother that the oven is off from Memorial Day to Labor Day…and she means it!)

I had gotten some really nice prune plums at the green grocer last week and decided to try and make the Plum Cake(Zwetchgenkuchen) that Frau Lampe used to make.  When I was finished my freshman year at college, I spent the summer in Marburg/Lahn in Germany for a summer and went to the Sprachenschule there to improve my German.  I stayed with a family and she used to make amazing desserts…this being one of them.   I tried it again last night using some apples I had gotten yesterday and that was delicious as well.  They are not sweet and are good for anytime of the day.  My husband likes to put a dollop of yoghurt on his, I like mine heated a little in the microwave and eat mine plain.

Frau Lampe’s Zwetchgenkuchen(Plum Cake) or Apple Cake

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Ingredients:

1 1/4 cups flour(note: I used whole wheat for the plums, white for the apple) You can also use gluten free flour.

1 t baking powder

1/4 t salt

1 stick margarine or butter, softened

Sugar…the original recipe calls for 3/4 cup sugar…I use 1/4.

1 Egg and 2 T yoghurt(the original recipe uses 2 eggs only)

1 T lemon juice and 1 t lemon peel

1 t vanilla( you could use almond flavoring instead)

1-2 Tablespoons of milk…if needed

Topping(2 T of sugar and 1 t of cinnamon mixed)

Plums(if you are using prune plums, just pit them and cut them in half)  Apples(2 apples cored, peeled and sliced)

a. Mix the sugar and butter/margarine until well mixed.  Add the egg(s) and yoghurt(if only using one egg), mix well.  Add the lemon juice and peel.  Add the vanilla.

b. In another bowl, mix the flour of preference with the salt and the baking powder.

c. Mix the two together and stir well…if it is too thick(you want a thick batter but so thick that you can’t smooth it out…I usually need 1-2 T of milk. It has to be thick enough that the fruit doesn’t fall through.

d.  Pour into an 9 inch in diameter pan.  Grease well.

e. Taking the fruit, start in the center and arrange in a spiral.

f. Sprinkle the top with the cinnamon sugar mixture and place in the oven for 30 minutes or until an inserted knife comes out clean.

Let it cool a bit…I like mine warm, hubby likes his cold cause he says he tastes the lemon more when it’s cold.

This recipe can be used with other fruits as well…I have some peaches I have to try it with next…let me know if you try it.  Today in my part of the world it’s rainy and chilly…perfect day to put something in the oven!

Enjoy!

til next time…Eva

c.