Slow Cooker Plum Pudding

Forget figgy pudding til December, why don't you. At this time of year, it's all about plum pudding. And this version is spectacular, because your slow cooker will do all the heavy lifting for you. 

It's true. Usually, steamed puddings are all day affairs, but this version comes together quite easily, and then can cook for several hours in your slow cooker while you attend to other things. Sounds like a winner to me!

This recipe is excerpted from the new book 175 Essential Slow Cooker Recipes by Judith Finlayson © 2015; the recipe is reprinted with publisher permission.

Plum Pudding

8 to 12 servings

Here’s a lightened up version of a traditional holiday favorite. Allow a week for the mixed pudding to soak in the refrigerator. I like to serve this warm with a simple lemon sauce or store­bought lemon curd, but if you’re a traditionalist, hard sauce works well, too. Don’t worry about leftovers. It reheats well and with a steaming cup of tea will take the chill off even the most blustery winter day.

• Large (minimum 5 quart) oval slow cooker
• 6­cup (1.5 L) lightly greased pudding basin, baking or soufflé dish

  • 1 cup seedless raisins
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped mixed candied fruit
  • 2 tablespoons chopped candied orange peel
  • 2 tablespoons chopped candied ginger
  • finely grated zest of one orange
  • finely grated zest of one lemon
  • 1/2 cup brandy or dark rum
  • 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup fine dry white bread crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons ground toasted blanched almonds 
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons molasses 

1. In a bowl, combine raisins, candied fruit, orange peel, candied ginger and orange and lemon zests. Add brandy and stir well. Set aside for 1 hour.

2. In a separate bowl, mix together flour, bread crumbs, ground almonds, cinnamon, baking powder, nutmeg and salt. Set aside.

3. In a clean bowl, beat brown sugar and butter until creamy. Add eggs and molasses and beat until incorporated. Stir in soaked fruit mixture. Add flour mixture and mix just until blended. Spoon batter into prepared dish. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and let sit in refrigerator for a week, spooning additional brandy or rum over the top two or three times in 1 tbsp (15 mL) increments. 

4. Remove plastic wrap. Cover with foil and secure with a string. Place dish in slow cooker stoneware and pour in enough boiling water to come 1 inch (2.5 cm) up the sides of the dish. Cover and cook on High for 4 hours, until a toothpick inserted in the center of the pudding comes out clean. Serve hot. 

Courtesy of 175 Essential Slow Cooker Recipes by Judith Finlayson © 2015 Reprinted with publisher permission. Available where books are sold.