featuring guest authors; crafting tips and projects; recipes from food editor and sleuthing sidekick Cloris McWerther; and decorating, travel, fashion, health, beauty, and finance tips from the rest of the American Woman editors.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

COOKING WITH CLORIS--CHRISTMAS PUDDINGS WITH GUEST AUTHOR REGAN WALKER

Join us today for some Christmas Plum and Persimmon Puddings with author Regan Walker. A former lawyer in high levels of government, Regan loves to weave history and real historic figures into her romances. Learn more about Regan and her books at her website and blog.

Christmas Plum Pudding from Regency England

In both my new Christmas novella, The Twelfth Night Wager, and my short story, The Holly & The Thistle, the Christmas dinner served up in 1818 in London includes Plum Pudding. It’s a traditional accompaniment to a Regency holiday feast. But the making of it can be a chore. Should you want to try, here is the recipe, which can also be found on my blog.

Christmas Plum Pudding

Ingredients:

1 1/4 lb. suet
1 lb. Demerara (cane) sugar
1 lb. raisins
1 lb. sultanas
4 oz. citron peel
4 oz. candied peel
1 tsp. mixed spice
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1 lb. breadcrumbs
1/2 lb. sifted flour
1 lb. eggs (weighed in their shells)
1 wineglassful brandy
1/2 pint milk

Prepare all ingredients, well whip the eggs, add to milk, and thoroughly mix. Let stand for 12 hours in a cool place, add brandy and put into well-greased basins and boil 8 hours or longer. Sufficient for twenty to twenty-eight people.

I know. I know. Who would do all that, right? Not me. So, if you’d prefer something equally seasonal, but a lot less effort and the Christmas dessert my son prefers to pie (it must be bathed in whipped cream, of course), I suggest my recipe for Persimmon Pudding. It’s moist and tasty:


Christmas Persimmon Pudding

Use only Hachiya persimmons (pictured) and make sure they are soft and ripe!

Sift these ingredients together:

1 c flour
1 c sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt

Add:

1 c persimmon pulp (about two persimmons)
1/2 c milk (or if you are feeling indulgent, half and half)
1 Tablespoon melted butter
1/2 c nuts (I use walnuts)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Bake at 325 degrees in a covered casserole set in a pan of water about 1/2" deep for 1 and 1/2 hours. Serve warm!

The Twelfth Night Wager
A Christmas Novella

THE REDHEADED RAKE
It was a dull day at White’s, the day he agreed to the wager: seduce bed and walk away from the lovely Lady Leisterfield, all by Twelfth Night. This holiday season, Christopher St. Ives, Viscount Eustace, planned to give himself a gift.

THE INNOCENT WIDOW
She was too proper by half—or so was the accusation of her friends, which was why her father had to find her a husband. But Lord Leisterfield was now gone a year, and Grace was at last shedding the drab colors of mourning. The house felt empty, more so during the coming Christmastide, and so tonight her coming out would begin with a scandalous piece of theater. The play would attract rogues, or so promised her friend the dowager countess. It would indeed. The night would bring about the greatest danger—and the greatest happiness—that Grace had ever known. 

4 comments:

Andrea Cooper said...

I've never had either of these recipes, but both sound amazing. I can't wait to read this novel while tasting these yummy desserts. :)

Regan said...

Hello all! I'm happy to be here and will answer any questions. Cooking for Christmas is fun to me and brings wonderful smells to the kitchen!

Laura Mitchell said...

Can you substitute another fruit for the persimmon?

Regan said...

Hi, Laura. Well, you might could do that, but the great thing about the persimmons is that they are subtle. And the pulp is gel like (if the fruit is sufficiently ripe). I think I'd try the recipe as it is first and then adapt it to another fruit. Great thought though.