REAL DEVOTEES of plum pudding won’t admit that any other dish can properly round out a Christmas dinner. “All else is mere compromise,” they say. “We’ve always had a pudding and we always will.” There’s no objection, understand, so long as your digestion is as strong as your conviction. But I’m in the other camp so far as believing that a considerable number of desserts will do equal honor to your holiday table. They have what it takes, in my opinion, to end the meal on the same high note on which it began.
A mince pie will do it, without departing from tradition either. You can’t deny that its fragrance and spicy flavor have long been associated with Christmas feasting. Variations of the filling can be made to please the taste of those who insist on longestablished customs, and the growing numbers who pride themselves on being outand-out modernists. Nor is it the only possible pie for this day’s service. A mixture of dried fruit between two flaky crusts, a cherry tart, or that cranberry and pineapple combination for which the recipe is given, will provide all the flourish appropriate to the occasion.
Even the plum-pudding fans are willing to concede the deliciousness of some modern versions. A carrot pudding, for instance, is accepted in the best of families, for its economy is not apparent in its fine flavor. The honey-prune dessert will make its bow at certain tables this year, and I predict loud applause for it. Light, inexpensive and luscious—what more could you ask? More revolutionary but bound to make a hit with all who try it, is this new idea of serving a medley of fruits and peels in a tart jelly. There’s a freshness about it, and it’s so easy to make the day before your dinner. You can’t set it ablaze—that’s the only objection—but you can turn it out in a great mound and decorate it with holly in the grand manner.
Of course, Christmas is no time to worry about your figure or fuss too much about your digestion. Nevertheless, there are many who prefer something light after the abundance of preceding courses; stomachs do have their limitations and not everybody wants to sleep all afternoon. Many jellied desserts admirably fulfill all requirements. You can have them simple enough to be sensible, yet with a distinctly festive air and a fitting deliciousness. Almond mold illustrates this point—a mound of creamy richness delightful to the eye and the palate. Or fresh fruits held in a simple jelly can be so good that you won’t miss a more pretentious climax.
Ice cream in one of several forms and flavors is dramatic enough for anyone. Try that maraschino concoction in a spongecake ring, and serve with marshmallow sauce. Or use it instead for a new kind of sandwich—an inch-thick filling of ice cream between layers of light cake, baked in a shallow loaf pan and cut in two large squares. Ice-cream pie may be a new one to you, but it’s a smart idea for a special dessert. Put a layer of fruit - peach halves, apricots, cherries or another choice—in a baked pie shell and cover with very hard ice cream. Spread thickly and roughly, right to the edge with sweetened and flavored meringue, and put in a hot oven to brown the peaks. Allow from a minute to ninety seconds for this, no longer. And serve as soon as you take it from the stove. If you’re afraid to try this treatment, you can still have a decorative effect by covering the ice-cream pie with whipped cream and sprinkling generously with chopped nuts or shredded cocoanut.
Some people think that “fixing up” ice cream is just painting the lily, and there’s nothing in the world against serving it plain with a piece of your own Christmas cake. A frozen orange pudding really needs no further embellishment, for it would do you credit under any circumstances.
Two other suggestions are included in the following list of recipes, both of which we recommend as timely and tasty. There’s a very special custard made with table cream in place of the usual milk and
topped with a maple-sugar crust. Not a very slimming dessert, to be sure, but Christmas is a good excuse for forgetting your calories and you will probably think it’s worth a few days reducing.
Bananas baked in a purée of cranberries provide the season’s color, and a novel flavor which is pleasantly refreshing. It jellies lightly as it chills, but retains all its brilliance and piquancy. Good with a whipped-cream accompaniment and a few of your best cookies.
Whether it’s with the idea of aiding digestion or simply for its agreeable nippy flavor, many think a savory ends any meal in the best possible manner. An assortment of cheese and a variety of crackers is more popular than ever as a grand finale. Especially good if accompanied by crystallized or dried fruit, or both. PY>r that matter, fresh fruit and cheese is another “natural.”
Be traditional or go modern as you like, but in any case I hope you get your just desserts and have the merriest Christmas of your housewifely career.
1 Pound of ground beef suet 1 Pound of brown sugar 6 Eggs, well beaten 1 Pound of flour 1 Teaspoonful each of ground cloves, cinnamon and allspice
2 Teaspoonfuls of baking powder
Yi Teaspoon ful of ground nutmeg
Yi Cupful of milk
Y\ Cupful of corn syrup 1 Pound of grated bread crumbs
1 Pound of raisins 1 Pound of currants 1 Pound of shaved mixed peel
Y> Pound of coarsely chopped almonds
Combine the suet and brown sugar, add the well-beaten eggs and mix well. Sift the flour with the baking powder and spices, and add alternately with the milk and com syrup which have been combined. Stir in the bread crumbs, the washed and dried fruit, the peel and nuts. The mixture may be allowed to stand for one-half hour or so, and is then cooked by steaming or toiling, allowing one hour for every pound of pudding.
Steamed Honey-Prune Pudding
Y\ Cupful of butter
Yi Cupful of liquid honey 1 Egg
Yi Cupful of milk
Y Cupful of All-Bran 1 Cupful of cooked, pitted prunes (drained)
1 Cupful of sifted flour Y Teaspoonful of salt Yi Teaspoonful of baking soda
Cream the butter, add the honey, and cream together thoroughly. Add the beaten egg and the milk, and mix well. Stir in the bran. Cut the prunes into pieces, and combine with the flour, salt and baking soda which have been sifted together. Add to the first mixture, combine thoroughly, and turn into a greased pudding mold. Cover and steam for two hours. Serve unmolded with any desired pudding sauce. Six to eight servings.
Jellied Plum Pudding
Y¿ Pound of prunes
1 One-inch piece of stick cinnamon
5 or 6 Whole cloves
1 Cupful of hot prune juice
1 Package of lemon-flavored
Yi Cupful of brown sugar (more or less according to taste)
Yi Cupful of orange juice
2 Tablespoon fuis of lemon
Y¿ Cupful of thinly sliced figs Yi Cupful of raisins Y\ Cupful of shaved citron peel Yi Cupful of blanched almonds, coarsely chopped
Wash the prunes thoroughly, add water to cover and allow to soak for several hours. Add the cinnamon stick and the cloves, and cook in the water in which the prunes were soaked until they are tender. Drain, reserving the juice, remove the pits and cut in pieces. Measure the hot prune juice, add to the jelly powder and stir until dissolved. Add the sugar, orange and lemon juice, mix thoroughly, and allow to chill until it begins to thicken. Add the cut prunes, the figs, raisins, peel and nuts, and turn into a cold wet mold. Serve unmolded with sweetened and flavored whipped cream, or plain sauce flavored with grated orange rind. Eight to ten servings.
Uncooked Lemon Mincemeat
1 Cupful of raisins
3 Cupfuls of finely diced, peeled tart apple y. Cupful of blanched, cut almonds
Y Cupful of candied orange
}/¿ Cupful of lemon juice
2 Cupfuls of sugar y¿ Teaspoon ful of salt
2 Teaspoon fuis of powdered cinnamon
1 Teaspoon ful of ground cloves
1 Teaspoon ful of ginger
Scald the raisins, allow to stand in the water for a minute or two, drain thoroughly and cut in pieces if necessary. Combine with the apple, almonds and orange peel, then add the remaining ingredients. Mix thoroughly and allow to stand, stirring occasionally. Then pack into sterilized jars, seal and store in a cool place until ready to use. The amounts given will make approximately two pints of filling— enough for two medium-sized pies. Before making into pies, add one-quarter cupful of melted butter to each pint of mixture, place in pastry shell, cover with pastry and bake.
Sponge Cake Ring with Maraschino Ice Cream
Make a sponge cake according to your favorite recipe and bake in a ring mold or tube pan. Cool and fill the centre with maraschino ice cream made as follows:
18 Marshmallows 1Y Cupfuls of milk
Y Cupful of maraschino juice 1 Cupful of whipping cream
Chopped maraschino cherries
Place the marshmallows and the milk in the upper part of a double boiler, and heat over hot water until the marshmallows are melted. Cool, add the maraschino juice, and fold in the cream which has been whipped only until it will hold its shape. Arid as many chopped maraschino cherries as are desired, and turn the mixture into the tray of the mechanical refrigerator. Freeze until firm. Serve with a maraschino marshmallow sauce.
Orange Frozen Pudding
1 Cupful of milk
2 Egg yolks
1 Cupful of water
2 Cupfuls of sugar
2 Cupfuls of orange juice 1 Cupful of whipping cream y¿ Cupful of shaved, candied orange peel
Y Cupful of broken pecans
Scald the milk and add gradually to the slightly beaten egg yolks. Cook over hot water, stirring constantly until the mixture will coat a spoon. Remove from the heat and cool. Combine the sugar and water and boil together for ten minutes. Cool and add the orange juice, then combine with the cooled custard. Whip the cream only until it will hold its shape, and fold into the combined custard and orange
mixture. Add the prepared peel and nuts and, when well mixed, turn into the tray of the mechanical refrigerator and freeze. This amount will serve eight or ten people.
Cranberry Holiday Pie
3 Cupfuls of cranberries l Y Cupfuls of sugar
Y Cupful of pineapple juice
Y Cupful of diced pineapple y2 Cupful of sliced, stoned
Wash and pick over the cranberries, add the sugar and pineapple juice, and cook until the berries burst. Add the diced pineapple and the dates, and allow the mixture to cool. Turn into a pie plate lined with flaky pastry, and cover with a top crust. Bake in a hot oven—425 deg. Fahr, —for about one-half hour or until nicely browned.
Banana and Cranberry Compote
1 Pint of cranberries
1 Cupful of boiling water 133 Cupfuls of sugar
Juice of half a lemon
Wash and pick over the cranberries, add the boiling water and cook until soft. Press through a sieve, add the sugar to the hot purée and stir until dissolved. Peel the bananas, cut lengthwise and crosswise into four sections, and coat each piece with lemon juice. Arrange the banana sections in a baking dish and pour the cranberry mixture over them. Bake in a hot oven — 400 deg. Fahr.—until the bananas are tender—about thirty minutes. Chill thoroughly and serve with or without whipped cream.
Christmas Fruit Mold
136 Tablespoon fuis of gelatine y2 Cupful of cold water y> Cupful of lime juice y2 Cupful of hot water
6 Tablespoon fuis of sugar
1 Teaspoonful of lemon juice Green coloring 34 Cupful of diced pineapple y> Cupful of seedless green grapes
y2 Cupful of diced pear y2 Cupful of maraschino cherries, stuffed with filberts or almonds
Soften the gelatine in the cold water for five minutes, add the lime juice, hot water and sugar, place over hot water and stir until sugar and gelatine are dissolved. Cool, add the lemon juice and enough green coloring to produce an attractive shade. When the mixture begins to set, stir in the prepared fruits, turn into individual cold wet molds or one large mold, and chill until firm. Serve unmolded, garnished with whipped cream and small clusters of the grapes. Eight servings.
Baked Cream Custard en Fete
1 Pint of cream (16 per cent or richer)
1 Tablespoonful of sugar
3 Egg yolks
1 Teaspoonful of vanilla Shaved maple sugar or brown sugar
Scald the cream over hot water. Beat the egg yolks, add the sugar and vanilla and mix well. Gradually add the scalded cream, while stirring constantly, then strain into a glass baking dish. Set the dish in a pan of hot water and bake in a slow oven—325 deg. Fahr.—until a silver knife when inserted in the centre comes out clean. Cool and chill thoroughly—four hours or more. Then cover the surface completely with shaved maple sugar or brown sugar, and place under the broiler. When the sugar is quite brown all over and melted, remove from the heat, cool and chill again thor-
oughly. Serve very cold, plain or with a sauce made by melting rum and butter taffy with a little cream. Five servings.
2 Cupfuls of milk
y2 Cupful of chopped blanched almonds
3 Egg yolks
y Cupful of liquid honey Pinch of salt
I y. Tablespoon fuis of gelatine y2 Teaspoonful of vanilla 1 Cupful of whipping cream Cubes of clear red jellystrawberry, cherry, etc.
Combine the milk and chopped almonds in the top part of a double boiler and scald over hot water. Beat the egg yolks, add the honey and salt, and gradually add the hot milk and almond mixture. Return to the double boiler and cook, stirring constantly until the mixture thickens. Soak the gelatine for five minutes in three tablespoonfuls of cold water, add to the mixture in the double boiler and stir until dissolved. Cool the mixture, and when it begins to stiffen slightly, fold in the vanilla and the cream, which has been whipped until stiff. Turn into a cold wet mold and chill until firm. Serve unmolded, garnished with cubes cut from clear red jelly. Eight servings.
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