Grand Plum Pudding
- Preparation Time70 mins
- Cooking Time250 mins
For the crème Anglaise
Lightly grease an 8-cup steamed pudding mold (a curved metal or ceramic mold with a lid) and ready a large stock pot filled with 3-inches of water.
Toss the raisins, currants, walnuts, candied peel, cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, salt and allspice together. Stir in the brandy (or sherry, if using) and let sit while preparing the other part of the pudding.
Whisk the eggs with the sugar, then whisk in the milk. Sift in the flour and whisk, then stir in the breadcrumbs followed by the melted butter. Stir in the soaking fruits and nuts (including any excess liquid). Stir the baking soda in a small dish with 1 Tbsp of warm water and stir this quickly into the batter. Scrape the batter into the prepared pudding mold and secure the lid.
Bring the stockpot with water up to a gentle simmer and place a cookie cutter or other similar ring (even a tuna tin with the top and bottom cut out) and place the pudding mold on top of the ring (to prevent it from touching the bottom of the pot. Cover the pot and steam the pudding for 4 hours, checking periodically that the water level in the pot remains the same. Remove the pudding from the pot, uncover, and allow it to cool for an hour before turning out and serving with Crème Anglaise.
For the crème Anglaise, heat the cream to just below a simmer in a small saucepot.
In a separate bowl whisk the egg yolks and sugar together. Slowly pour into the hot cream while whisking, then return the entire mixture to the pot. Switch to a wooden spoon and cook the custard on medium-low heat until it coats the back of the spoon, about 3 minutes. Strain the custard, cool it to room temperature, and then chill until ready to serve.