GRANDMA FRANZ'S DATE PUDDING

While growing up, every Christmas at Grandma’s, we had this pudding for Christmas dinner dessert. It is an English tradition and supposedly almost a national dish in Australia, where it is usually served with a sauce of some sort. I

prefer whipped cream.

Yield: 6 to 8 generous servings

Temperature: 350 F

Baking time: 35 to 40 minutes

2 cups chopped dates

¼ cup sweet cream unsalted butter, divided

¾ cup water

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 cup brown sugar

1 egg, beaten

1 ½ cups flour

½ cup coarsely chopped English walnuts

Whipped Cream Topping:

1 cup whipping cream

1/3 cup sugar

1 teaspoon Mexican vanilla

1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Generously butter an 8 or 9 inch square baking pan. Bring the water to a boil and stir in the dates, then add the baking soda. Stirring by hand, add the sugar, then the egg, flour and nuts. Mix only until well mixed

2. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until done. (An inserted toothpick will come out clean.)

3. Cut in squares and serve warm with the whipped cream.

4. To serve, whip the cream with an electric mixer, using highest speed. When the cream is frothy, slowly add the sugar, then vanilla and whip until firm.

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