Dating further back than the Spinach-Orange Muffins for Thanksgiving is the tradition of the Burton Christmas Pudding. Similarly, you usually don't tell people the main ingredients until after they have taken a bite and fallen in love. My mother found this recipe in Redbook in 1984 and has made it every year since.
The main ingredients? Potatoes and carrots. The key? Overcook the crap out of it. Otherwise it will fall apart when you take it out of the pan. Even if it is the driest thing ever, the caramel sauce brings it back to life. It is kind of like a carrot cake covered in caramely goodness, so how can you really go wrong?
By the way, taking a picture of all the ingredients measured out is really handy, as it can serve as visual confirmation that you forgot to put in the nutmeg. But fear not, my mistake was realized in time.
Christmas Pudding with Caramel Sauce
(Adapted from a 1984 issue of Redbook)
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup raw, finely grated carrots
1 cup raw, finely grated potatoes
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 cup flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup raisins, rinsed in hot water and drained
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix baking soda, carrots, and potatoes in a bowl. Set aside.
In another bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light. Then beat in eggs one at a time until smooth. Sift in flour, spices, and salt over wet mixture. Add the raisins and the carrots and potatoes.
Place batter in 5 cup buttered and floured mold. Place mold in a larger baking pan that is filled with about 1-2 inches of water. Bake for 50-60 minutes (BUT PROBABLY LONGER...OVERCOOK IT DAMNIT) until pudding is moist, but set and starting to separate from the sides of the mold. Set on rack to cool and remove onto serving plate while still warm.
1 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup butter
1 cup heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
Melt sugar and butter on top of double boiler over low heat. Add cream slowly, stirring well. Remove pan from heat. Stir in vanilla. Serve warm, poured over slices of pudding.