Wonderful, traditional, and comforting dessert! We serve a steamed pudding after Christmas dinner or any time you want to create a warm and cozy atmosphere. Don't skip the hard sauce, it really makes the dessert.
In a small saucepan simmer the 2 1/2 c plums and juice for 6 - 8 minutes over low-moderate heat. Cool, remove the pits from the plums and discard the pits. Drain the plums, reserving the juice (for the sauce) and chop into 1/4-inch pieces.
In a mixing bowl beat the brown sugar and melted butter together. Add the eggs, beating in well and blend in the plums. In another bowl sift together the flour, salt, and soda and add to the plum mixture, stirring gently. Generously butter a 1 1/2 quart mold with a cover. Pour the better into the mold. Cover the mold with the top or foil and place on a rack in a large kettle. Fill the kettle with water to reach halfway up the side of the mold. Cover the kettle and bring to a simmer over low heat. Steam for one hour.
Remove the steamed mold from the kettle, uncover and place place in a 400 degree oven for 2 - 3 minutes to dry the top slightly. Cool the pudding for a few minutes unmold onto a warm serving plate.
Warm the cognac in a small saucepan. Remove from heat, ignite, and pour over the pudding. Bring the flaming pudding to the table accompanied by plum Brandy Sauce.
To prepare the sauce, in a small saucepan combine the 1 cup plum juice, the granulated sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon, and cornstarch. Mix well and bring to a simmer over low heat, stirring constantly until slightly thickened. Remove from heat and blend in cognac, lemon juice and 1 tablespoon butter. Serve warm with plum pudding.
Note: This pudding may be prepared 2 - 3 days in advance, wrapped tightly and refrigerated. If this is the case, before serving steam again in the mold for about 1 hour. This is really a delicious and festive holiday dessert -- give it a try!