I'm toying with the idea of making a traditional plum pudding this year for Christmas. I guess all the historical buildings with English architecture and Jane Austin Novels I've been absorbed in this year are finally getting to me.
I know it's a lot of work, but we don't have anything major planned yet. I have a few questions though, so I'm relying on our British friends to help me become a little less ignorant:
1. Have I missed the window? 1 recipe said to make it a year ahead, others just said to marinade the fruit a few days before assembling and cooking, but all seemed to assume that it wouldn't be eaten fresh. Is there and ideal amount of time before serving?
2. Can it only be made in huge batches? The only recipes I found called for pounds and pounds of ingredients, and it's just me, my husband, and my 15-month-old, and I'm not sure my husband will be terribly enthusiastic about this one. I gather that it keeps for a fair length of time, but honestly, I don't think I could consume 4 lbs of this in a year.
3. How do you steam a 4 lb or more mass of batter/dough/whatever it turns out to be? The recipes just said to steam it in foil or cloth. On Wikipedia I saw a picture of a course fabric bag suspended by rope, but I'm not sure if that's feasible in my kitchen.
4. Does anyone have a recipe you'd be willing to share? I would prefer one with as limited varieties of alcohol as possible. We don't drink at all in my home and I won't keep on hand on a long-term basis. I'll consider buying alcohol to cook with as long as it cooks off, but honestly 1 recipe called for 3 different types. I'm not willing to buy 3 types of alcohol to make 1 dish when the extra will just get poured down the drain. That's a bit pricey and wasteful for me.
Disclaimer: I may or may not make this. My decision will be determined by the answers to these questions in part, but also on my schedule and the availability of necessary ingredients. I will truly appreciate any answers I receive, but they may not be put to good use, at least this year. Don't worry, I won't be offended if someone says "maybe this dish is just not for you. Try this dish instead."
Thanks in advance!