Here is a quick review of all the various British Holiday treats I added my brandy butter to. The first is a mincemeat tart by Walkers (the same folks that make the shortbread). They are a delicious mixture of raisins and currants and other dried fruits and like the plum pudding with no plums, they are mincedmeats with no meat. They are very sweet and the crust is a little dry, which is why I suggest adding a healthy dose of brandy butter on top.
Next up, we have the Marks and Spencer pudding. I brought that to my friend Nicole’s house for Christmas Eve dinner. I was meeting her parents for the first time and thank goodness the pudding was good, otherwise I might not have been invited back for New Year’s. Nicole’s friend Robin, whose mother is British, took two servings and said it reminded him of his childhood Christmases in England. I was later told, by Nicole’s father Richie, that he ate the leftover brandy butter “by the finger-full.” All in all, I would say it was a hit.
Lastly, we sampled the Bryson’s Luxury Christmas Pudding, which is luxuriously flavored with Irish Stout and Navy Rum. I served that at my house for Christmas dinner (on the 28th, because not having gas in your stove on the 25th is not an emergency, according to National Grid). It was the best of the bunch: moister and more alcoholic-tasting. It went down with rave reviews to myself and my friend Mike; other guests declined, perhaps because Jessica knows that plum pudding used to be made with meat suet. (I believe, after a little research, that it was the beef suet that turned me off when I was cutting up the kidney for my steak and kidney pie.) Most modern puddings are made with vegetable suet, whatever that is.
In order to accomodate all these puddings, I had to make a second batch of brandy butter. This time I added a little vanilla, which I don’t suggest you try. I didn’t think it was as tasty.
So, what did I do with all the leftover bits of puddings and tarts? I chopped them up, added some leftover Panettone and baked it all into a bread pudding which I will be trying for breakfast tomorrow.