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Boil a Christmas Pudding

Not all homes had ovens in 1841. So people ate boiled puddings for Christmas, instead of cake. A Victorian cookbook called Modern Cookery, written in 1846, has a whole chapter with over 40 pudding recipes, including some for beef pudding and partridge pudding!

Here is a recipe for 'The Author's Christmas Pudding', from Modern Cookery

To make it you will need scales, string and a pudding cloth (about 1 metre x 1 metre; boil the cloth first to shrink it and get it wet).

Ingredients: Flour, 3ozs; bread-crumbs, 3ozs; suet, stoned raisins, and currants, each, 6 ozs; minced apples, 4ozs; sugar, 5 ozs; candied peel, 2ozs; spice, 1/2 teaspoonful; salt, few grains; brandy, small wineglassful; eggs, 3; 3 1/2 hours.

To three ounces of flour and the same weight of fine, lightly grated breadcrumbs, add six of beef suet, chopped small, six of raisins weighed after they are stoned, six of well-cleaned currants, four ounces of minced apples, five of sugar, two of candied orange rind, half a teaspoonful of nutmeg mixed with pounded mace, a very little salt, a small glass of brandy, and three whole eggs. Mix and beat these ingredients well together, tie them tightly in a thickly floured cloth, and boil them for three hours and a half. We can recommend this as a remarkably light small rich pudding: it may be served with German, wine, or punch sauce.

And to go with it, here's the 'Common Pudding Sauce':

Sweeten a quarter-pint of good melted butter with an ounce and a half of sugar, and add to it gradually a couple of glasses of wine; stir it until it is at the point of boiling, and serve it immediately. Lemon-grate or nutmeg can be added at pleasure.

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