Honolulu Walnut Date Christmas Pudding

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Honolulu Walnut Date Christmas Pudding

  • Servings: makes 2 regular-sized loaves
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You’re going to scratch your head when you’re done and wonder why this is called a pudding.  To me, it’s a date/walnut fruit cake without any fruit other than dates – which is a blessing 🙂 My mom passed this recipe along to me.

Ingredients

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.  Put a pan of water on the oven rack under where you will bake the loaves.  Line two standard size bread pans (about 9″x5″) with parchment paper or grease and flour them.

  • 4 eggs
  • 2 c sugar
  • 1 1/2 lbs dates, pitted and cut in half lengthwise
  • 1 1/2 lbs walnut halves, not cut, about 6 c
  • 2 T (yes, Tablespoons) vanilla
  • 2 1/2 c flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder, rounded (maybe 2 1/4 tsp, if you want to be more precise)
  • 3/4 tsp kosher salt
  • bourbon to soak the cheesecloth wrap before refrigerating

Beat the eggs and sugar and vanilla together with a whisk until they’re very well-mixed, then add the dates and walnuts and stir, being sure the dates aren’t sticking together in clumps.

In a separate bowl, gently whisk together the flour, baking, baking powder and salt, and then fold that into the egg/date/walnut mixture.  Mix until the flour mixture is totally incorporated.  The batter will be very stiff.

Scoop the batter into the prepared pans, smooth the tops with a spatula, and bake for about 1 hour and 20 minutes (a little longer or shorter, depending upon the size of your bread pans).  The loaves should be nicely browned on the edges.

Remove from the oven, place on a rack, and let cool for about 15 minutes, then remove the date/walnut “puddings” from the pan.  When the loaves are completely cool, wrap them in cheesecloth which has been soaked in bourbon (you could probably get by using a fruit juice for soaking but the flavor won’t be as wonderful).  Then wrap again in plastic wrap and a plastic zip-lock bag and refrigerate.  Slice as thinly as possible when you’re ready to serve.  A scoop of vanilla ice cream would go well, or include slices on a tray of holiday sweet things.

I usually make these loaves in late November, keep them refrigerated, re-soak the cheesecloth now and then with bourbon – and find the “pudding” is still delicious in January. Recipe brought to you by BigLittleMeals.com and Andy and Ann

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