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Bread, Dessert, Fruit

Plum Duff

“Duff” is a sailor slang for dough. (which also brings a new meaning to the term ‘get off your duff’). This is usually used in reference to breads with leavening, like cakes, bread, and rolls, and not unleavened breads like Hard Tack.

Serves: About 6-8

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ tsp active dry yeast
  • 1 cup warm water
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup warm milk
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp allspice
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 ½ cup raisins, prunes, or other dried fruits.
  • 4 cups flour

Directions:

  1. Put the yeast in a large bowl with the water and 1 tablespoon of the sugar, stir briefly, then cover with a damp cloth and set in a warm place for about 15 minutes.
  2. When bubbles appear in the water/yeast mixture, stir in remaining sugar, milk, salt, allspice and cinnamon.
  3. Combine the raisins with the flour, and add to the yeast mixture. Stir into a stiff dough.
  4. Cover with the damp cloth and set in a warm place to double in bulk (about an hour).
  5. Punch the dough down and turn it out onto a floured board. Knead until smooth and elastic. (about 10 minutes)
  6. Tie loosely in a well-floured cloth (some specialty stores sell pudding cloths, but a simple sheet of cellophane works find, or any fine-weave cloth.). Place in a large pot of boiling water to cover. Cover, bring back to a boil and cook rapidly for 1 ½ hours. Note that you may need to add more water as it cooks.
  7. Remove the pudding from the pot, untie and turn it out onto a serving dish. Slice into thin wedges and serve with a sweet sauce. Hard Sauce is the tradition, but any jelly, jam, honey, syrup or even frosting will work.

Variations:

  • This recipe works well with just about any dried fruit. Apples, pears, raisins, dates. I haven’t tried it meself, but I bet mincemeat would also be good.
  • Some sweet barbeque sauce and some pork or chicken will make HomBao like treat.
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