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Hasty Christmas Pudding (LCBO Food and Drink)

I know it is too late for Christmas 2013, but while the taste is still fresh in my mind I wanted to share this with you all. I looked up the origin of ‘hasty pudding’ and the original dates back to 1599!  Some may recall The Hasty Pudding Club at Harvard University…

In 1795, a society called the Hasty Pudding club was organized by twenty-one Harvard College students. The club’s purpose was to encourage “friendship and patriotism.” Its constitution stipulated that every Saturday, two “providers” were to carry a pot of hasty pudding to the meeting. For the majority of the 19th century, prospective members were forced to ingest large quantities of hasty pudding. According to Harvard University historians, the club was founded by students who sought relief from the food the college provided by cooking their own hasty puddings in fireplace pots. With this ritual, the Hasty Pudding Club found it namesake. Today it is the nations oldest theater company, which annually puts on a spectacular spring production starring men in drag.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hasty_Pudding_Theatricals

Trust me, I was as surprised as you were to learn about the men in drag…lol. Here is the recipe. Happy New Year!

HASTY CHRISTMAS PUDDING LCBO – Serves 8 to 12


1 cup (250 mL) raisins
1 cup (250 mL) sultanas
1/2 cup (125 mL) currants (can be omitted)
1 cup (250 mL) dried cranberries
1 cup (250 mL) candied orange
or mixed peel
1 cup (250 mL) ground hazelnuts
6 tart apples, peeled and chopped
11/4 cups (300 mL) brown sugar
1/2 tsp (2 mL) ground cloves
2 tsp (10 mL) ground cinnamon
1 tsp (5 mL) ground ginger
1 tsp (5 mL) ground nutmeg
1 tsp (5 mL) salt
1 cup (250 mL) all purpose flour
3 cups (750 mL) fresh bread crumbs
Grated rind and juice of 1 lemon and 1 orange
11/2 cups (375 mL) brandy
6 eggs, beaten
3/4 cup (375 mL) butter, softened, cut up into small pieces

1 In a large bowl, combine the raisins, sultanas, currants, cranberries, orange peel, hazelnuts, apples, sugar, cloves, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, salt and flour. Toss well.

2 Stir in bread crumbs, rind, juice and 1/2 cup (125 mL) brandy. Combine everything well.

3 Cover and leave in a cool place (not the refrigerator) for 4 days, stirring in 1/4 cup (50 mL) brandy each day.

4 On the fifth day, beat the eggs and stir into the fruit. Mix in butter.

5 Line a 10 cup (2.5L) heatproof bowl or individual heatproof moulds with greased foil. Pour in the pudding. Cover with more foil or tie a cloth over the bowl.

6 Place the bowl on a trivet in a large pot. Add water to the pot, but don’t allow the water to touch the bowl. Bring the water to a boil, cover and steam for 3 hours, making sure the water stays boiling. Check the water level occasionally and add more boiling water if necessary.

7 Remove the pudding from the steamer (reheat when needed by re-steaming for 1 hour).

8 Turn out onto a platter, top with Orange Hard Sauce (recipe follows) and garnish with red currants and orange rind, if desired.

Brandy Caramel Sauce:

  • 3/4 cup (175 mL) packed dark brown sugar
  • 4 tsp (18 mL) cornstarch
  • 1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt
  • 3/4 cup (175 mL) water
  • 2 tbsp (30 mL) brandy or orange juice
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) butterTop of FormBottom of Form

Preparation

Brandy Caramel Sauce: In small saucepan, whisk together brown sugar, cornstarch and salt ; whisk in water. Bring to boil, stirring, over medium heat and boil until thickened, about 3 minutes. Add brandy and butter; reduce heat and simmer for 1 minute. (Make-ahead: Let cool. Store in airtight container for up to 5 days. Rewarm to serve.)

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Cranberry Pistachio Salted Caramel Bars

Squeezing this one in at popular request… Larry made these for a pre-Christmas get together. The recipe is found in the 2012 Holiday Issue of Food and Drink (LCBO Magazine available only in Ontario). They were awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!!! They would be great for your New Year’s Eve celebrations….

Cranberry Pistachio Salted Caramel Bars (LCBO)

Cookie Base :

1 ¼ cups all purpose flour

½ cup wheat germ

1 teaspoon salt

¾ cup unsalted butter softened

¾ cup packed light brown sugar

1 large egg YOLK

Filling :

2 cups sugar

½ cup water

2 Tablespoons corn syrup

1/3 cup whipping cream, heated

1 ½ teaspoons salt

3 Tablespoons unsalted butter cut into pieces

1 cup unsalted and roasted pistachios, chopped

1 ½ cups dried cranberries, plumped in boiling water for 10 minutes and drained

½ teaspoon sea salt (optional)*

Preheat oven to 350 F or 180 C.

Line a 9 x 13 baking pan with parchment paper. Set aside.

Combine flour, wheat germ and salt. Set aside in a bowl.

Combine butter and sugar in a mixing bowl and beat together until light and fluffy. Beat in the yolk until combined. Add in flour mixture and beat until combined. Crumble dough into prepared baking pan and use damp fingers to press into a single layer with a slight lip at the edges. Bake for 25 minutes or until dry to the touch and golden. Set aside.

Combine sugar, water and corn syrup in a heavy bottom pot and stir just enough to moisten the sugar. Place pot over medium heat, bring to simmer and cook without stirring for 10 minutes or until deeply golden (between 320 and 340F OR 159 to 170C) on a candy thermometer.

Working quickly and carefully, add cream and salt, stirring to combine and then add butter (1Tablespoon at a time) until incorporated. Remove from heat.  Let caramel stand for 10 minutes to cool slightly then add pistachios and cranberries and stir until coated.

Scrape caramel mixture onto the prepared cookie base and use a spatula to even out topping. Return to oven and bake for 15 minutes or until caramel is bubbling at the edge.

Sprinkle bars with salt if desired. Let cool for two hours to firm up and then remove from pan. Peel down parchment and cut into 48 rectangular bars. Will keep well in a sealed container for one week at room temperature.

Salted Caramel Brittle

Just realized that I forgot to post a new recipe yesterday! Sorry that you had to rely on Chef Boy-ar-dee…LOL. Anyways, here is another KISS recipe which we discovered has other interesting uses…don’t skip the salt!!!

Once it is made, try mixing it in with homemade ice cream OR just drizzle the fine chunks on some good ole Laura Secord or Haagen Dazs or Ben and Jerry’s vanilla, depending on where you live.  I also used it on frosting for cupcakes (otherwise known as icing), using the same crumbles. I had hoped it would be great on my recent recipe for Bacon and Maple Syrup cupcakes, but that recipe was sooooo disappointing. I will let you know when I have perfected it!!! Of course, the brittle is just great by itself…

I suggest keeping it in the fridge during these warm summer months.

So, here it is…

Salted Caramel Nut Brittle

A variation on the classic peanut version, a touch of salt makes this brittle dangerously addictive.

(Makes about 1 pound)

Ingredients:

2 cups granulated sugar

1 cup water

1 cup toasted hazelnuts, walnuts, almonds, pecans or pumpkin seeds (or a combination) coarsely chopped

1 teaspoon sea salt

Method:

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

Place sugar and water in a medium saucepan and stir to combine. Cook over medium-high heat, without stirring, until mixture starts to brown, about 14 minutes. Gently swirl the pan until the mixture is an even, deep amber color, about 1 minute more.

Immediately remove from heat and quickly stir in nuts and salt. (I actually just sprinkled the salt over before it hardened). Pour onto the prepared baking sheet, spread in an even layer, and let cool. Once cool, break into small pieces.