It's National Plum Pudding Day... researching this food day I have come across two details that make me go Hmmmm...

Not Plum Duff

Not Plum Duff

1. Plum Pudding comes to our shores from the UK, where it is called Christmas Pudding. So why isn't this National Food Day somewhere around the Christmas holiday? Why is it stranded in the middle of February? 

Plum Pudding is also called Plum Duff in the UK, which is not to be confused with Hilary Duff (although her best friends call her Plum).


2. There are no Plums in Plum Pudding. Wait...What?! That's right. Apparently, in the UK, when Plum Pudding came into existence, all dried fruit was called plums. Plum Pudding is, essentially, raisin pudding. Go figure.

So, let's celebrate Christmas in February and make Plum Pudding (which contains no plums).

Plum Pudding


  • 1 cup light molasses
  • 3/4 cup melted butter
  • 1/2 cup warm milk
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour, plus additional for tossing fruit
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 pint candied mixed fruit (or diced dried fruit such as pineapple, pears, apples, and plums)
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 1/2 ounces brandy

Hard Sauce:

  • 1/4 pound butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1-ounce brandy or rum


Combine the molasses, butter, milk, and eggs in a mixing bowl. Next, combine the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and cloves in a large mixing bowl. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients in 3 additions. Toss candied fruit and raisins lightly with flour to prevent sinking and add to batter. Stir in brandy.

Pour into a greased and sugared steam pudding mold and place on a rack in a large covered pot with water that comes halfway up the sides of the mold. Cover and steam for 2 hours, checking occasionally to make sure water hasn't boiled out. Let cool for 5 minutes on a rack before turning out. Dust with powdered sugar and serve with Hard Sauce.

Hard Sauce:

Beat all ingredients together until very well combined. Serve with pudding.

Michael Liss