Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Fruited Eggnog Pudding (Gluten Free)

Fruited Eggnog Pudding is definitely a day before recipe. It is not hard, but it takes time, as well as an impressive collection of liquor. It has to chill so the cook is much better off making it the evening before the dinner party, thereby ensuring peace of mind on that issue
I made it on Saturday afternoon for Sunday night's dinner, the same dinner that I made the grits balls for.
I was delighted to be using up several stray ingredients, such as dried fruit, left over from fruitcake making, chopped walnuts, just sitting in the refrigerator, golden raisins, (I used regular old brown.) and the booze. What I didn't do was check on the gelatin. When came time to dissolve the gelatin so it could be added to the eggs, etc., I was horrified to see that I only had one envelope when the recipe called for three. However, the time was getting on for 4 o'clock and I had to meet my husband Bob at 4:30, so I just said to hell with it and used one. Result, pudding less stand up than it would have been with three envelopes of gelatin.
I found the recipe contained many imponderables. For example, it says to beat the egg yolks until they are "very thick." and lemon yellow. How thick is very thick? Do the eggs have to look exactly like a lemon? I beat the yolks for about 5 minutes. They did thicken and showed the tracks of the beaters, but were not lemon yellow, mostly, I believe due to the fact that I use organic eggs. The yolks of organic eggs are a much deeper yellow than the yolks of non organic eggs. The color did lighten somewhat. I think 5 minutes is enough.
"Gradually beat in the sugar." What does that mean? Basically, it means not to dump the whole 3/4 cup into the egg yolks at the same time. You could spoon the sugar in, a couple of tablespoons at a time and beat for the count of 30 if you are a perfectionist.
It says use a nine cup mold that has been "lightly oiled." What is a nine cup mold and how does one lightly oil same? Well, in the 30s, 40s and 50s, molded salads and desserts were all the rage.

The molds of the past looked like this, a tin-lined melon mold. I used a large red bowl. To lightly oil it, I took a clean paper towel and soaked it with vegetable oil. I then rubbed the inside of the bowl with the oily paper towel. Since I did not have three envelopes of gelatin, it didn't matter anyway, since the pudding was somewhat soupy, and not as stand-up as it should have been.
Don't worry about  not having a mold, but if you would like one many of different sizes, types and designs are available on e-bay.
I also discovered one more shortage in the cooking process. The recipe calls for a cup of bourbon. We had about half a cup. Since we don't drink hard liquor much anymore, I was disinclined to go out and buy a fresh bottle of bourbon. Altogether, what I had added up to one and 1/4 cups of hard liquor, so I figured that would be enough. It was. In case you are not much of a drinker, but want to make this dessert, you can always buy little bottles, pints, or half pints for cooking.
The dessert turned out well. It may have been too much in a meal that started in the living room with deep friend grits balls, went on to roast beef with Bob's special potatoes and broccoli soufflé, salad, and finally the dessert. The guests seemed to like it even if they were stuffed like geese.

Fruited Eggnog Pudding

1 cup chopped mixed candied fruits
1/4 cup roughly chopped pecans or walnuts
2 tablespoons golden raisins
1/4 cup cognac
12 egg yolks,
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup dark rum (Light rum works just as well if that is all you have.)
3 envelopes unflavored gelatin
1/2 cup cold water
1 cup bourbon
2 cups heavy cream, whipped
2 tablespoons vanilla
Whipped cream for garnish
pieces of candied cherries

1. Soak the mixed fruits, nuts and raisins in the cognac,
2. Beat the eggs until very thick, lemon colored and smooth. Gradually beat in the sugar.
3. Add the rum and beat in well. Chill the mixture until it is at refrigerator temperature, about 40 minutes.
4. Soak the gelatin in the water. Heat to dissolve the gelatin. Add the bourbon and stir into the chilled egg mixture quickly and thoroughly.
5.  Fold in the whipped cream and vanilla and continue stirring until the mixture begins to thicken.  Fold in the soaked fruit and nut mixture and pour into a nine-cup mold, which has been rinsed with cold water or lightly oiled.
6.  Chill  at least five hours or overnight. Unmold and decorate with whipped cream and candied cherries.
Makes about 12 servings.
Note: If a nine-cup mold is not available,  divide the mixture between a six-cup mold and a three cup mold. When ready to serve, unmold and place one atop the other.

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