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Peas n carrots

Vegetarian Suet for Christmas/Plum Pudding

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Peas n carrots

We have been invited to a Christmas dinner this year. Our friends are a couple whom one is a British expat and the other is an American who lived in the UK for several years. So we are doing more of a traditional British Christmas celebration.

We agreed to make the Christmas Pudding, as we have made them in the past. The only thing is, our expat friend is vegetarian, and the Christmas pudding calls for suet (which is a beef fat that is similar to lard).

The British recipes we found that are veg call for vegetarian suet, which is easily obtainable in the UK, but after searching I haven't been able to find in the US except for one British expat online store, and it actually cost more to ship than what the product itself cost.

http://www.britishfoodshop.com/product.asp?id=211

So I got to thinking...how similar is Crisco to vegetarian suet? Would I maybe be able to sub Crisco?

I know this is an extremely niche food question (expat British vegetarians are probably the experts LOL) but if anyone has input it would be appreciated. I don't want to go to the trouble of making a failed Christmas Pudding.

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Jane_Goth

Hi, I think you would be able to sub with crisco. Veggie suet has sunflower oil and palm oil, neither of those have that much flavour and from what I remember, neither crisco has no real flavour either.

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OkToBeTakei

Maybe consistency would be an issue? Suet is the grated fat from around the kidneys and is quite hard in texture. Is Crisco not soft?

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Peas n carrots

That is my worry with crisco as well.

There Irish import store we go to is getting their Xmas stuff in this week so I'm going to call them. Otherwise I'll bite the bullet and spend $30 on vegetarian suet.

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wtylcf

Not a British food expert at all, but the internet suggests frozen grated butter to mimic the firmness of the suet. I'm not sure if Crisco freezes as solidly as butter, but maybe freezing it would help if you don't want to use butter. Good luck, and please report back!

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OkToBeTakei

Same problem wtylcf . Although that may help when mixing it in the first place the consistency when cooked will be wrong as suet is quite firm as then is the pudding. It would just turn into a sponge type cake I think :(

Let me look in Tesco p&c and if postage will not cost me an arm and leg I can send some if we have the time? If they even have it. I'm on my phone but you can check online. I'll do that when this endless nightshift ends!

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Peas n carrots

Oh no worries OK my MIL works for Morrisons and she can get it for 10p a package. They usually send us a care package this time of year with baking goodies like Hovis flour and Demerara sugar. So I'll put that down as my request. However mucho gracias for the offer. Just thinking a gift exchange might be fun to do anyways.

Btw...the recipe I will use is from my Maw Broon cookbook! This one doesn't seem to call for it to sit around and ferment for a while so I can wait for it to ship. And if we have leftover suet we will make a clootie dumpling for Boxing Day breakfast lol

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Peas n carrots

After doing some research, apparently a substitute for vegetarian suet is taking frozen butter and grating it. Thankfully I have a food processor to do that job, but I'm a bit worried it won't turn out as well. We'll just see how it goes, and if it's shit I'll but a pud from World Market.

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OkToBeTakei
After doing some research, apparently a substitute for vegetarian suet is taking frozen butter and grating it. Thankfully I have a food processor to do that job, but I'm a bit worried it won't turn out as well. We'll just see how it goes, and if it's shit I'll but a pud from World Market.

I'm sure it will taste just fab! Suet is just so dense though compared to butter . I think if you consider the amount of fruit and other dense ingredients like breadcrumbs etc you will probs get away with it. I think the taste will be far better with butter YUM! You'll need to tell!

A normal suet crust like for a Jam Roly Poly or an Apple dumpling would be far less forgiving and just be sponge I suspect. As much as I love these puddings and Clootie I try not to think about it being the hard fat scraped from around a dead animal's kidneys :lol: kind of ruins the moment!

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Peas n carrots

It's kind of hard to do a trial, as I have to let it ferment for a while lol. I'll get my backup pudding, and see how the butter one comes out.

Oh how I love Scottish cuisine, but there is an awful lot of animal fat in the traditional foods.

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Arete

All-rite-tee. All this time, I was thinking of Yorkshire pudding, and I thought the problem was replacing the meat dripping. I also assumed suet was used in Yorkshire pudding. Assuming makes an ass of you and me, though in this case it's all on me. :doh: I then Googled "Christmas Pudding", realized what it was, and yeah, not exactly something to trial run.

Nothing to see here except my red face, move along everybody. :embarrassed: :shifty:

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Peas n carrots
All-rite-tee. All this time, I was thinking of Yorkshire pudding, and I thought the problem was replacing the meat dripping. I also assumed suet was used in Yorkshire pudding. Assuming makes an ass of you and me, though in this case it's all on me. :doh: I then Googled "Christmas Pudding", realized what it was, and yeah, not exactly something to trial run.

Nothing to see here except my red face, move along everybody. :embarrassed: :shifty:

Haha no worries...easy to do!

So I made the pudding today...the texture seems pretty similar with the suet subbed with butter. I think the taste is where it might be somewhat different...I'm guessing it might not be as rich?

It's steaming away now...only 5 more hours of steaming to go :roll:

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OkToBeTakei

Haha no worries...easy to do!

So I made the pudding today...the texture seems pretty similar with the suet subbed with butter. I think the taste is where it might be somewhat different...I'm guessing it might not be as rich?

It's steaming away now...only 5 more hours of steaming to go :roll:

Oooooh good luck! I bet it will be yummy!

I made the family Christmas cake last Thursday and today it got it's first 'feed.'

Pudding has so many different meanings, I'm not surprised at any confusion. Fist we have the generic pudding as in, 'What's for pudding?' (Sweet after meal.) Then everything from rice pudding to black pudding!

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Arete

We'll, how did the vegetarian Christmas Pudding turn out? Inquiring minds want to know. :)

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Peas n carrots

It tasted good, but didn't hold shape very well after cutting. The Brits enjoyed it, and the Americans could take it or leave it.

I have the leftovers to a coworker whose parents are from the UK...she told her dad I was making Xmas Pudding and he demanded to have one too lol. Hopefully he will enjoy it despite its crumbly nature.

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