Author: Rowling, J.K.
Book: Harry Potter series
Difficulty rating: Little Women
Deliciousness rating: Exceeds Expectations
Fortunately for us, Cam was v. excited at the idea of making a Christmas pudding and offered her expertise and assistance in the process, not to mention her gorgeous kitchen to cook in. Her partner Hildie cooked us a fantabulous feast of pork medallions in the hours the pudding was steaming, no less.
HOGWARTS’ FLAMING CHRISTMAS PUDDING
Adapted from Nigella Lawson’s Ultimate Christmas Pudding recipe
*Sidenote: Cam went to secondary school with Nigella Lawson, who was two years her senior and a faraway, famous sort of figure. Even then, Cam says, Nigella was incredibly glamorous and clearly destined for great things.
- Silver coins, cleaned thoroughly in Coke (a Sickle in the HP books, which is about 59 cents in U.S. money; traditionally a sixpence in Muggle England)
- 150g currants
- 150g sultanas (We didn’t have sultanas, so we used regular raisins. Cam points out that American golden raisins aren’t a good substitute because they’re too tangy, whereas sultanas are sweet.)
- 150g roughly chopped prunes
- 175ml Harveys Bristol Cream sherry
- 100g plain flour
- 125g fresh breadcrumbs
- 150g suet (we bought 8 oz at the butcher shop and used 6 oz)
- Grated zest of 1 lemon
- 150g dark brown muscovado sugar
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ground cloves
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 3 large eggs
- 3 tiny apples from Cam’s garden (peeled and grated)
- One 2-pint pudding basin and one 1-pint pudding basin (we used Jenne’s plastic mixing bowls) with lids
- Butter to grease everything
- Steaming pots
- Plastic wrap
1. Put the currants, sultanas, and prunes into a bowl with the sherry. Swill the bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and leave overnight, up to a week. (Holy hell, guys, this stuff is incredible once the booze is all soaked in. It was hard not to grab a spoon and just sail in.)2. Put a large pan of water on to boil. Butter your pudding basin, including the lid.
Don’t forget to double-check — we first forgot the spices, and then we had everything all wrapped up and steaming before we realized we’d forgotten the eggs!
4. Add the boozed-up fruit, making sure to get every last drop of sherry with a rubber spatula. Mix thoroughly. According to Cam, it’s tradition for every family member to take a turn mixing and make a wish, so we tried it.
6. Cam tied twine around the rim to make these handles. Not only did they look adorable — they were crucial for lifting out the puddings from the pots later.
9. Take it out carefully. When it’s cooled enough, put the pudding in the basin in the fridge until Christmas. (It’s much warmer in San Diego than in England, so leaving it out in our room didn’t seem like the best plan.)
Did it measure up?
We’ll find out! The plan is to wait till December, steam it for an ADDITIONAL FOUR HOURS, top it with a sprig of holly, flambé it, and then eat it with brandy butter, along with a number of other HP Christmas dishes, of course.
The batter looked nothing like I expected — it’s a lot chunkier, and I was picturing it to be soft and smooth, like for a sweet tamal (the only other steamed dessert I can think of that has meat fat in it).
Jenne and I had all kinds of doubts about a cake-like dessert not rotting after several months, but we were reassured by articles that talk about how Christmas puddings and fruit cakes can last forever.
The pudding was steamed, lit afire, and eaten at our Very Harry Christmas Dinner.
Rowling, J.K. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. London: Bloomsbury, 1997.
Rowling, J.K. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. New York: Scholastic Inc., 1997.