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Published December 16, 2009, 12:00 AM

ENGLISH CHRISTMAS RECIPES: English Plum Pudding . . . Eggnog Rum Bundt Cake . . . Classic Cooked Eggnog

English Plum Pudding

1 pound seedless raisins

1 pound sultana raisins

½ pound currants

1 cup thinly sliced citron

1 cup chopped candied peel

1 teaspoon cinnamon

½ teaspoon mace

½ teaspoon nutmeg

¼ teaspoon ground cloves

¼ teaspoon allspice

¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 pound finely chopped suet — powdery fine

1¼ cups cognac

PUDDING:

1¼ pounds (approximately) fresh bread crumbs

1 cup scalded milk

1 cup sherry or port

12 eggs, well-beaten

1 cup sugar

1 teaspoon salt

Cognac

Blend the fruits, citron, peel, spices and suet and place in a bowl or jar. Add ¼ cup cognac, cover tightly and refrigerate for 4 days, adding ¼ cup cognac each day.

Soak the bread crumbs in milk and sherry or port. Combine the well-beaten eggs and sugar. Blend with the fruit mixture. Add salt and mix thoroughly. Put the pudding in buttered bowls or tins, filling them about Xc full. Cover with foil and tie it firmly. Steam for 6 to 7 hours. Uncover and place in a 250-degree oven for 30 minutes. Add a dash of cognac to each pudding, cover with foil and keep in a cool place.

To use, steam again for 2 to 3 hours and unmold. Sprinkle with sugar; add heated cognac. Ignite and bring to the table. Serve with hard sauce or cognac sauce.

Eggnog Rum Bundt Cake

Shortening and all-purpose flour, or nonstick cooking spray for preparing cake pan

BATTER:

3 cups unsifted all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/8 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

¾ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg, or ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg

½ pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened

2¼ cups superfine sugar

4 large eggs

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

¾ cup plus 1 tablespoon prepared eggnog

3 tablespoons dark rum

GLAZE:

5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into chunks

½ cup granulated sugar

1/3 cup dark rum

½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease the inside of a 10-inch Bundt pan with shortening and dust with flour, or spray lightly with cooking spray. Set aside.

To prepare the batter: Sift together the flour, baking powder, soda, salt and nutmeg onto a sheet of wax paper. Set aside.

Cream butter in the large bowl of an electric mixer on moderate speed for 3 to 4 minutes. Add superfine sugar in three additions, beating 1 minute after each portion is added. Add eggs, one at a time, beating 45 seconds after each is added. Blend in vanilla extract.

On low speed, alternately add sifted mixture in three additions with the eggnog in two additions, beginning and ending with sifted mixture. Scrape down the sides of the bowl often. Add rum and beat 30 seconds. (The batter will be medium-thick and very creamy.) Spoon into prepared pan and lightly smooth top with a spatula. Bake on center oven rack 55 minutes, or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cake set in pan on a cooling rack 10 minutes before unmolding onto a rack.

To prepare glaze: While cake is cooling in the pan, place butter, granulated sugar and rum in a nonreactive saucepan. Set over low heat and stir until the sugar dissolves. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.

Place rack with warm cake on a sheet of wax paper. Spoon glaze over cake in layers, using all of the glaze. Cool completely before wrapping.

Yield: 16 slices.

Classic Cooked Eggnog

6 eggs

¼ cup sugar

1/8 teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg

4 cups milk

1 teaspoon vanilla

¼ to ½ cup brandy or rum (optional)

Grated nutmeg for garnish

In a large saucepan, beat together eggs, sugar, salt and nutmeg. Stir in 2 cups of the milk. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture is thick enough to coat a metal spoon with a thin film. (The temperature must reach 140 degrees on an instant-read thermometer.)

Remove from heat. Stir in remaining 2 cups of milk and vanilla. Cover and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled, several hours or overnight. Just before serving, add the brandy or rum. Pour into bowl or pitcher and dust with nutmeg.

Yield: Serves 6 to 8.

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