Saturday, December 14, 2013

Christmas Carrot Pudding (Home-Canned Version)

Deciding on dessert for a special holiday dinner is always a little nerve-racking. Ive just made up my mind! Have you?

I wanted to keep the workload down as well as making something delicious and unusual that some of our guests had perhaps never tasted before. The answer came quicklyChristmas Carrot Pudding!

How wonderful this special dessert is! It’s enormously convenient because it requires no freezing or refrigeration - space that is always at a premium at this time of year. Once the puddings are made, they can sit in a cool cupboard, ready to be served at a moments notice. This recipe can be made a couple of weeks in advance of a special holiday meal, or a day or two before. It needs no mellowing. 

To make this dessert, you’ll need two or three one-quart (1 L) bottles with new, never-used lids and canning rings. You’ll also need a canning pot with a lid and fitted rack, a wide-mouthed canning funnel, a pair of no-slip canning tongs, and plenty of boiling water. If you have (or are able to borrow) those, you’ll have no problem preparing this simple recipe

I’ve provided a great deal of detail to explain the canning method for readers whove never canned foods beforeBecause the basic method is standard, you’ll be able to use it again and again with other canning recipes. In future, as this blog presents the occasional home-canned recipe, new home-canners will find the method indexed under How to Do Home-Canning. The processing times of home-canned foods vary and are always stated with each recipe. I dont use a pressure canner. If you do, refer to the instructions provided with the canner.

Topped with a sprig of holly in a serving bowl, Carrot Pudding makes a festive dessert, especially served with Brandy Butter, Lemon Sauce, or a simple Rum SauceTomorrow’s posts present each of those excellent sauce recipes. I also have a microwave variation of a slightly different Carrot Pudding - no canning needed. While I like the recipe below best, I’ll post two of its microwave variations tomorrow, as well.

Christmas Carrot Pudding (Home-Canned Version):

1 c. grated raw carrot (1 large carrot, peeled)
1 c. grated raw potato (1 medium potato, peeled)
1 c. grated apple (2 medium apples, peeled and cored)
1 c. raisins
1 c. currants
½ c. grated suet (see Note) or butter
2 eggs
1 c. granulated sugar
1 tbsp. molasses
1-¼ c. all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. allspice
Dash salt

Before Starting:

1/ Read recipe and assemble all ingredients.
2/ Fill canning pot ¾ full of hot water, bringing to a boil. Have additional boiling water on hand to add to pot as needed. When water in covered canner reaches the boil, lower heat to simmer. 
3/ Sterilize three (see Further Note) one-quart canning jars using the only method the US Department of Agriculture considers safe. To read about that method, see:
4/ About 5 min. before completion of recipe, nestle new lids inside rings. Drop both into boiling water to soften rubber ring inside lid, assuring an air-tight seal between lid and jar.

Let’s Get Started!

Combine grated carrot, potato, and apples (I used a food processor to do the grating, which considerably sped the process). Plump raisins and currants (see Index for How to Plump Dried Fruits). Combine grated carrot, potato, apple, raisins, currants, suet, eggs, sugar, and molasses in large bowl, mixing well. In separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, allspice, and salt. Sift over dry ingredients, stirring well. 

With water in canner at a roiling boil and extra water at the ready, remove two clean, sterilized jars from dishwasher or pot of simmering water. Place on fresh paper towel. Using wide-mouthed canning funnel, fill each jar ⅔ full, using a clean cloth or fresh paper towel to wipe any spills from mouth of jar. Do not over-fill.

Place hot lid onto jar, securing lid by screwing on ring with moderate tightness. Using canning tongs, place each jar onto canner rack while rack is hooked to edges of canner. Lower rack into boiling water. Using regular tongs or long-handled spoon, flip ends of rack over jars, securing jars in place. Top with additional boiling water until water stands 1-in. above jar tops. Cover and boil or “process” 3 hr., topping with boiling water as needed.

Using regular tongs or long-handled spoon, flip ends of rack above jars, freeing them. Using canning tongs, lift jars from pot and onto rack covered with paper towel. Pudding will have expanded to completely fill jars. When jars are cool, check that center button on lid is depressed - a sign that lids and jars have formed a perfect seal. Re-tighten jar rings. Store jars in dark, cool place. If jars have not sealed, refrigerate and use pudding within three days. 

A small portion of this very rich pudding is ample. Each jar yields 4-to-6 servings, spooned from jar into dessert nappie or serving bowl. Serve slightly warmed or at room temperature.

Note: Ask your butcher for suet. It may also be available in your grocer’s freezer case. Suet adds depth of flavor, and also keeps the mixture from becoming runny after its been cooked.

Further Note: Although this recipe requires two jars, I routinely sterilize an extra jar in the event that one breaks.

Prepare ingredients as recipe directs.

Add two eggs, combining well. 

Sift flour mixture over all.

Mix thoroughly.

Using canning funnel, fill jars ⅔ full.

Sterilize lids and rings in simmering water.

Lower sealed, sterile jars into boiling water.

Secure jars in canner. Add more boiling water to 1 in. above jars.

Cool on paper towel over rack.

Ready for the holidays: Christmas Carrot Pudding!

Why have I categorized this recipe as a Christmas gift? If a single jar of this excellent pudding is all you need, present the second jar in cello wrap tied with a ribbon, a copy of this recipe, and the sauce recipes that work so well with it. 

After that, why not put it into a bag …? 

Not just any bag, of course 

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