…and plum pudding is not a pudding. Ever since I bought the 2006 Cook’s Illustrated Holiday Baking issue, I’ve had my eye on the recipe for “Old Fashioned Plum Pudding”. I’m a sucker for traditional European recipes, I’ve been making a Buche de Noel for the past 8 or so Christmas’ and the idea of making a grand entrance at dinner with a dessert ablaze is too tempting. Unfortunately, you have to be a little more organized to make a traditional plum pudding, it’s ideal to make it at least a month ahead, and I’ve never gotten myself pulled together enough to plan that far in advance. But, 2012 is finally the year of the blazing plum pudding. First hurdle: candied citron.
As it turns out, citron is not just any citrus fruit peel that you have hanging around. After I put oranges on my shopping list, I thought I should actually look up citron and see if it is something specific. It is. It’s a citrus fruit found in more exotic climes than my neighborhood Fine Fare Supermarket. So, on a day when my mom was visiting from Connecticut, I picked her up at Grand Central and we both made our way down to Curry Hill to the famous Kalustyan’s. Mom was looking for candied fruit for a Russian dessert recipe that my father’s mother gave her and I was on a candied citron mission. We didn’t have to look far, right inside the door were two bins of candied citron – diced and in rather intimidating large halves. As it turns out, the citron fruit is mostly a very thick white rind with very little actual juice. I opted for the diced citron, and scooped a small amount of the very sticky stuff into a baggie.
Mom found her candied fruit, and then we poked around the amazing selection of spices, jams, beans, etc that Kalustyan’s offers. I left Kalustyan’s feeling victorious and contemplating my next plum pudding hurdle: the large steamer pot.
Fortunately, my neighborhood Fine Fare Supermarket is just the place to find a steamer pot large enough to steam tamales and plum puddings.