Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Song of the Week: Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy

So what are sugar plums anyway? Alton Brown explained these sweet treats on a special Christmas episode of his Food Network show
Good Eats this past Monday. He explained that the "plum" in sugar plum was not always necessarily a plum, but in England when these treats were created it could refer to any dried fruit, like currants or raisins. These dried fruits would be mixed with nuts, sugar, and spices to create little delicious wintry gems. Alton provided a recipe for the sugar plums as follows:

Sugar Plums
6 oz toasted slivered almonds
4 oz dried plums
4 oz apricots and figs
1/4 teaspoon anise seeds
1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds
1/4 teaspoon caraway seeds
1/4 teaspoon cardamom
1/4 cup confectioners sugar
1/4 honey
pinch of salt
1 cup coarse sugar

1. Chop the almonds in a food processor.

2. Add the dried plums, apricots, and figs to the almonds and chop them in the processor--but not for too long since they might become mushy.

3. Lightly toast the anise seeds, fennel seeds, and caraway seeds in a pan.

4. Add the seeds to the chopped fruit and almonds and mix with the salt, confectioners sugar, cardamom, and honey.

5. Form into small balls and let sit overnight.

6. Roll the balls in your hand to warm them up (that's what she said) and then coat in the coarse sugar.

I haven't yet tried this recipe, but at least we've shed a little light on what sugar plums are!

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