Last year's Christmas pudding -- resteam and eat?
Not, I hasten to add, a half-eaten pudding, but a whole pudding stored, covered with greaseproof paper in a ceramic bowl in the back of my fridge since last December. It's dried out a lot (shrunk away from edges of the bowl) but smells fine--quite good, actually. I think I probably used butter, not suet, but am not certain.
Despite growing up hearing about puddings made at Easter and stored, my family's no help here as I inherited the job of pudding maker a long time ago -- and am wondering if this one's likely to taste OK or whether to make a new one...
Because it has shrunk I suspect that the container wasn't air tight and, to a greater or lesser degree, it's been tainted by the flavors of other items with which it has shared refrigerator space over time. IMO, give this one a nice burial and make a new one.
If it doesn't smell at all rancid and shows no evidence of any type of mold, I think I'd douse that puppy with a good-sized jolt (at least 1/3 cup) of your favorite bourbon, whiskey, dark rum, brandy... whatever dark liquor you like, and turn it over every several hours to distribute more or less evenly, and then go for it.
Unless you and yours are opposed to booze, of course.
My MIL always made her plum puddings the weekend after Thanksgiving. The first one was eaten on Christmas and there was often a pudding remaining for the following year's Thanksgiving. So, I would think a year old pudding would be fine to consume.
I'm eating puddings this year that are 1year+ old and they've been stored in a cool, dry place (not refridgerator). They taste far better now than then did last year!
However, mine were made with suet. I'd almost certainly eat yours though - shave a piece off the top (which won't be visible when you put the pud on a plate to serve); if it tastes fine, then eat your pud!
Thanks, everyone. I steamed it last night, scraped a sample off the top, and it tastes fine. The flavors of the dried fruits have blended into a general sweet fruitiness -- it's actually a bit more delicate and mild than a fresh pudding. Steamed, it's softer; with a dousing of whiskey or brandy I'm hoping it'll be fine.
I usually make pudding a few days before Christmas, and resteam Christmas Day, so I may even make another half-batch to compare...