The holidays are an excellent time to delve deeply, and often, into the tradition of puddings and trifles. Decidedly British in spirit, the classic plum, or Christmas, pudding originally shared many qualities with mincemeat pie. It featured meat and vegetables, and was not for dessert but rather to begin a meal. These were common menu items by the 16th century. Over time, the traditional flavors migrated from savory to sweet, with a heavier emphasis on dried fruit, citrus, spices and a cursory nod to its meat-centric roots with the addition of lard. Unlike baked bread puddings, Christmas puddings are usually steamed, creating a moist and creamy result.
Trifles are commonly recognized as having arisen from the Renaissance period in England. Layered desserts, they began as thickened cream flavored with liquor and spices, and evolved eventually to compositions of cake or pastry soaked in liquor, flavored custards and creams, and fruit or nuts.
Puddings and trifles need not be overly dense, or exceedingly sweet, to honor the spirit of the original recipes. Consider a steamed persimmon pudding, or an orange pudding studded with jewel-like cranberries. Or perhaps a gingerbread pudding, served with orange-scented hard sauce. For your trifles, go with layers of chocolate sponge, chestnut cream, and dark chocolate mousse. Or go light with white sponge soaked in Meyer lemon syrup, lemon custard and pistachios.
GreenLeaf has all the essentials for these classic holiday desserts: Dried fruit, citrus zests, spices, heavy cream, butter and fine chocolate. Create a stunning centerpiece dessert for your holiday menus, and call us today for all your supplies!