Sunday, 4 December 2011

Eat Xmas - Where to find the best Christmas pud

My grandmother always kept a small vegemite jar of silver sixpences to bake into the plum pudding to give luck to those who found one in their serve.

My father would carefully examine his serving each year to see if it looked really baked in or was just stuck in when the pudding was sliced for effect, but it never stopped him from enjoying the it.

Plum Pudding was originally made with meat in the early 15th century. Over time spices, dried fruits, egg yolks and almond meal replaced the basic ingredients and it became a sweet dish. Meat is no longer a common ingredient, although many recipes still contain suet to give a clean flavour.

I like a small serving of pudding with some good vanilla ice cream and a sauce - sometimes brandy sometimes butterscotch.  We wait some time after the main course of the Christmas feast to make sure there's enough room in our stomachs to tackle the task.

Haven't made your Christmas pudding yet? Save yourself some time and buy one. Here are my top picks for places where you can buy a pudding that looks and tastes as though it's come out of your own kitchen.

Vanilla Pod, Ascot
Vanilla Pod have 15 months aged and 3 month aged handmade (using their secret but sensational Vanilla Pod recipe) Christmas puddings available. They also make to order Brandy & Butterscotch sauce and Brandy Vanilla Bean Cream sauce to accompany the pudding. Order by Monday, December 12.

Diana's Christmas cakes & Puddings
It was a bite of heaven when I tasted Diana's Christmas pud at the Stones Corner Market.  She makes them in Toowoomba to prize-winning, old family recipe and they are very good. You'll find her at the Queen Street Market on December 7, 14 and 21, Powerhouse Market on Dec 10, Noosa Farmers Market on Dec 11, and the Queen's Park Market on Dec 18.  Available in two sizes. Call her on 0418 717 457 for more info.

Narelle Tognini uses an old family recipe plus a dash of love in all her Christmas puds. These traditional boiled and cloth wrapped plum puddings come in two sizes. Try their Vanilla anglaise and Brandy cream as well. Find them at Tognini's Milton and Spring Hill stores.

These puddings are light in texture, made either with butter or the traditional suet, Phillippa’s own candied orange peel and breadcrumbs, and loads of vine fruit and brandy. Serve flamed with brandy, lashings of whipped pure cream and Phillippa’s Caramel Brandy Sauce.  Order them online or find them at good delis

Judy C
The lovely Judy C at Ashgrove is a must stop for Xmas puddings and other goodies. I know she has rum balls and cupcakes that ooze the essence of Christmas but I'm sure there are some pudding lurking there as well. I've eaten Judy's Christmas pud and it's a great finale to Christmas lunch.

Jocelyns Provisions
Jocelyn's cakes and goodies are legendary so I'm guessing the Christmas pud with brandy sauce would be the same. Find them close to James Street in Fortitude Valley.

Where's your special spot to buy Christmas puddings that look as though you've baked them yourself? Leave a comment below.
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