Christmas 2021: Plum cake and its traditions

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Christmas 2021: Plum cake and its traditions

What makes plum a traditional treat during Christmas and why is it considered so special?

Christmas 2021: Plum cake and its traditions

Christmas festivities come packaged in a lot of traditions. One such well-known tradition is the Plum cake, an integral part of the Christmas celebration. How and why did this humble cake reach this exalted status where no Christmas celebration is complete without you biting into one.

The slightly bitter taste and dense texture of a plum cake are because of the dry fruits that are soaked in rum or brandy for months, opened only closer to the festival when the cake is baked. The aroma of the Christmas plum cake, with its alcohol-infused dry fruits and nuts, is simply intoxicating and irresistible.

Christmas Plum cakes are made of either dried fruits like grapes, currants, raisins, or prunes or with fresh fruits depending on one's taste and preference along with plums as the primary ingredient. Most people prefer adding rum or brandy-infused dried fruits to the cake while some may prefer to bake their cake without any alcohol.

What makes plum a traditional treat during Christmas and why is it considered so special?

The story of plum cakes started in medieval England, where it was a popular tradition to observe a period of fasting and abstinence from any kind of feasting in the weeks leading to Christmas. The fasting and abstinence would hold you in good stead for the indulgent days ahead.

As per the custom, on the eve of Christmas, a rich porridge was cooked and eaten to 'line the stomach' for the upcoming feast. The porridge was prepared with oats, dried fruits, spices, honey and sometimes even meat, eventually turning into a Christmas pudding. People started using the same ingredients and made fruitcakes with plums and other dried fruits on Christmas. That's how plum cakes are believed to have come into existence as a traditional dessert.

We know you can buy plum cakes from outside, but how about preparing them at home and making the festival extra special for you and your loved ones? Here's a wonderful recipe for Plum Cake that you should try making at home this Christmas. Don't forget to check out the tips that might help you make the best plum cake ever!

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Ingredients for Plum cake

-Raisins
-Figs chopped
-Dried apricots chopped
-Dried ginger chopped
-Half cup candied orange peel chopped
-Three-Fourth cup Brandy
-225 gms butter melted
-Flour
-Baking powder
-Ground cinnamon
-Ground ginger
-Ground cloves
-Salt and sugar
-4 large eggs
-Molasses
-Vanilla extract
-Toasted walnuts
-Apricot jam
-Warm water

Recipe of Plum Cake

Stir together dried fruit, candied ginger, candied orange peel and brandy. Keep overnight.

Preheat oven to 180 degrees C. Butter two 9/5 inch loaf tins. Line them with butter paper.

In a bowl, mix dry ingredients. Flour, baking powder, spices and salt.

In a mixer beat butter and both the sugars until smooth. Mix eggs one at a time followed by molasses and vanilla. Gradually add the flour mixture. Mix till smooth. Add the fruit mixture and walnuts.

Divide the batter between the two tins. Bake for 1 hour and 35 minutes or till the tester comes out clean. Remove from oven and brush the top with more liquor. Remove and place on a wired rack.

Heat the jam and water till smooth and glaze the top of the warmed cake.

Happy Christmas 2021 to you all. Enjoy