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The following historical recipe for Christmas Plum Pudding is from the White House Cookbook, 1867, by cooking writer Mrs. F. L. Gilette, based on the experience of Hugo Ziemann as Steward of the White House. Mrs. Gilette stressed in the introduction that every recipe wastried and tested. Below the recipe I've included the "Christmas Day Dinner" menu suggested in the book -- it's obviously designed for a crowd.
Today's audience will remember that ingredients themselves, and standards for what to cook with, have changed considerably since 1867. I've reformatted the recipe for readability but it is in the same words as the original.
Christmas Plum Pudding
One cupful of finely-chopped beef suet,
two cupfuls of fine bread crumbs,
one heaping cupful of sugar,
one cupful of seeded raisins,
one cupful of well-washed currants,
one cupful of chopped blanched almonds,
half a cupful of citron,
a teaspoonful of salt,
one of cloves,
two of cinnamon,
half a grated nutmeg and
four well-beaten eggs.
Dissolve a level teaspoonful of soda in a tablespoonful of warm water. Flour the fruit thoroughly from a pint of flour; then mix the remainder as follows: In a large bowl put the well-beaten eggs, sugar, spices and salt in one cupful of milk. Stir in the fruit, chopped nuts, bread crumbs and suet, one after the other, until all are used, putting in the dissolved soda last and adding enough flour to make the fruit stick together, which will take all the pint. Boil or steam four hours. Serve with wine or brandy or any well-flavored sauce.
White House Christmas Day Dinner Menu
• Oysters on Half Shell.
• Game Soup.
• Boiled White Fish, Sauce Maitre d'Hotel
• Roast Goose, Apple Sauce
• Boiled Potatoes.
• Mashed Turnips.
• Creamed Parsnips.
• Stewed Onions.
• Boiled Rice.
• Lobster Salad.
• Canvas Back Duck.
• Christmas Plum Pudding, Sauce
• Vanilla Ice-cream.
• Mince Pie.
• Orange Jelly.
• Delicate Cake.
• Salted Almonds.
Recipe and menu from: Mrs. F. L. Gilette and Hugh Ziemann, White House Cookbook, 1867.