Not everyone considers alcohol an essential Christmas pudding ingredient, as we discussed yesterday. Indeed, apparently not everyone even likes traditional pudding. There is, as they say, no accounting for taste. Or, as others would say ‘One man’s meat is another man’s poison’. Or, as my dear old Mum would say - ‘It wouldn’t do for us all to be the same, would it?’
For those of you who dislike hot steamy spicy fruity puddings with lashings of custard, and for those of you who simply want a change, I give you the following recipe for your consideration. The chestnuts might be a bit of a challenge at this time of the year, for those of us in the Southern hemisphere, unfortunately! As a bonus – just when you thought there could be no more variations on the theme of mince pies, I give you a recipe for yet one more version.
A Chestnut Caramel Pudding.
Chestnuts are always in season at Christmas. The caramel in Marrons à l’Espagnole gives them a distinctive flavour.
One pound of chestnuts. Boil in their shells for about half an hour. Skin, and put them to soak with three tablespoons of sugar in enough milk to cover them. Put through a sieve, adding the milk left over. It should be stiff enough to form into shape. Cover with caramel, and put plenty round the pudding. Cover the pudding with whipped cream just before serving.
Caramel: put 12 lumps of sugar with two tablespoonfuls of water and a little lemon-juice in a small saucepan. Let it come to a boil, but not candy. It should be thick as treacle and of a light brown colour.
The Times, Dec 19, 1935
Mince Pies Royal.
Add to half a pound of mincemeat an ounce and a half of castor sugar, the grated rind and strained juice of half a lemon, an ounce of melted butter, and four egg yolks. Beat well together and put the mixture in pastry cases. Set in a moderate oven and when nearly cooked, cover with meringue mixture and bake to a golden brown.
The Times, Dec 18, 1939
Quotation for the Day.
Gifts of time and love are surely the basic ingredients of a truly merry Christmas."