Friday, 8 November 2013

Olde Ale for your Xmas Pudding

For a slight change of pace, I've a recipe for you today. Two recipes, in fact. Courtesy of  Anchor Magazine, Barclay Perkins' in-house rag.

It was published in the November 1936 issue, supposedly to give the puddings time to mature. Personally, I think that's far too short a time. My mum used to make hers in January. She reckoned it needed a full year to mature.

There was always something a little sad about Christmas pudding. After a morning of snacking and chocolate, followed by an enormous roast turkey dinner, something as rich as a Christmas pud was the last thing you needed. I still managed to force it down, because, well, I never left any food as a kid. We were virtually on starvation rations. I spent the whole of my childhood hungry.

Wartime rationing had a lasting impact on my Mum. She only ever cooked exactly the right amount of food for the number of people present. The portion sizes were fixed and there were never any leftovers. For her generation, wasting food was the greatest sin.

But enough of childhood reminiscences and on with the recipes.

"Olde Ale for your Xmas Pudding
Now it is time to make your Christmas Pudding so as to give it plenty of time to mature before the festive day. We give below two recipes for very good puddings, the second being cheaper to make than the first. Each mixture will make about three puddings but of
course all the ingredients can be proportionately reduced to make a smaller quantity.

1st recipe
1 lb Bread Crumbs
1 lb flour
2 lbs finely chopped Suet
1 lb Currants
1 lb Sultanas
2 lbs stoned Raisins
0.5 lb chopped Candied Peel
1 lb Moist Brown Sugar
12 eggs
0.5 lb chopped Blanched Almonds
Grated Rind of two Lemons
1 grated Nutmeg
0.25 oz. Mixed Spice
0.25 teaspoonful Salt
2 wine glasses Brandy
0.75 pint Southwarke Ale

2nd recipe
0.5 lb Bread Crumbs
0.5 lb flour
0.25 lb Moist Brown Sugar
1 lb stoned Raisins
0.5 lb Currants
0.5 lb Sultanas
1 lb chopped Suet
0.5 mixed Peel
1 grated Nutmeg
0.5 teaspoonful Salt
1 pint Olde Ale
3 eggs
Rind and juice of one Lemon
4 ozs. chopped Almonds

Mix all ingredients thoroughly. Add well beaten eggs, brandy and ale. Place in greased bowls which must be filled without pressing the mixture down too much. Cover with greased paper and then with a floured cloth. Boil for 7 hours the first day, then store the puddings. Before eating boil again for three hours."
Anchor Magazine, November 1936.

Mum steamed her puddings in a muslin bag suspended with string over a pan of water. Not sure why I told you that. I can remember the deep, fruity smell filling our kitchen on Wilfred Avenue. Funny how smells stay with you. I can still conjure up that christmas pudding smell, even after four decades.

The beer in question was KK (Bottling) sold as Southwarke Olde Ale. I bet you want to know more about it, don't you? OK then:

17th Sep 1936 Barclay Perkins KK (bottling)
qtrs %
pale malt 7 18.68%
crystal malt 2.25 6.00%
PA malt 18.75 50.03%
no. 2 sugar 8 14.23%
caramel 0.71 1.27%
flaked maize 3 8.01%
malt extract 1 1.78%
mash at 154º F
sparge at 170º F
Hops (lbs) 429
hops EK Goldings and MK Goldings
dry hops (oz / barrel) 8.00
dry hops Saaz
lbs hops/ qtr 10.54
hops lb/brl 2.92
boil time (hours) 2.5
Pitch temp 61.5º
max. fermentation temp 73.5º
OG 1068.6
FG 1022.0
ABV 6.17
App. Attenuation 67.95%
colour 100
Barclay Perkins brewing record held at the London Metropolitan Archives, document number ACC/2305/01/621

Quite an interesting beer and, with almost 3 lbs of hops per barrel, quite a bitter one, too. And, with those Saaz dry hops, also quite aromatic.

How oddly this has turned  out. I started with the intention of giving you Christmas pudding recipes and ended up giving you a beer recipe as well.


OldnPeculier said...

The next step is to combine the two. I start with what originated as an Old Peculier clone and add matured (at least 6 month old) Xmas puddings at the end of the boil and into the secondary. It's very yummy, like drinking Christmas.

Anonymous said...

As a wartime baby myself I grew up with rationing and you ate what was on the table as that's all there was going to be.Meals always were accompanied by bread and if lucky with butter on it.