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ENGLISH PLUM PUDDING

2/3 cup milk
1 cup molasses
2 tsp. baking soda
2/3 cup ground suet
1/2 cup firmly pack dark brown sugar
2 eggs, well beaten
4 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup chopped blanced almonds
2 cups raisins or dried currants
1/2 lb. figs, stemmed and finely chopped
1/2 lb. pitted dates, finely chopped
1/2 cup brandy

In a large bowl, mix milk, molasses and baking soda. Stir in suet,
brown sugar and eggs. Blen in flour, spices and salt. Fold in
almonds, raisins, figs, dates and brandy.

Spoon mixture into 2 greased and floured heatproof bowls, 7 inches
across and 4 inches deep. Cover top with a double thickness of
waxed paper, tied with a string.

English plum puddings are usually steamed, but for the sake of
convenience these will be oven-steamed. Stand bowl in pans with
water coming halfway up the sides and bake in preheated 300 degree
oven for 2 1/2 hours. Cool to lukewarm, remove waxed paper and
remove puddings from bowls. Wrap and store in cool, dry place
until ready to serve.

Unwrap puddings and return to bowls. Cover tops with foil and
reheat in a 300 degree oven for 30 minutes. turn out onto serving
platter and cut a hole 1 inch wide and 1 inch deep in top of pudding.
Surround mold with cooked, dried, mixed fruit. Fill hole with
warmed brandy and spoon some over the entrie pudding. Set aflame.
When flames die, cut pudding into serving pieces and top with hard
sauce.


HARD SAUCE

1 1/2 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup soft butter
1/3 cup heavy cream
2 tbsp. brandy

Cream brown sugar with butter until fluffy. Gradually beat in
cream and brandy. Chill.

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