Christmas Pudding

I promise I will not mention Christmas until December. I have a horror of Christmas signs popping up everywhere in August. But it is the traditional weekend, Bonfire Night, to prepare the Christmas pudding and cake.

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Now, I must admit, I am unorganised. Hmm not at all surprising some will say, and to quote Miranda, RUDE. But not really. True, is a more correct answer.

Anyway… I made Christmas pudding for the first time last year – on Christmas Eve. Slightly last minute, and will probably be repeating the same thing again this year. But I am trying to be prompt and post this recipe incase any keen-beans need it now.

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I had heard before that making Christmas puddings was really hard. But actually, it was surprisingly easy and as a person who doesn’t care much for Christmas pudding, it was alright, other people who do like Christmas pudding thought it was great.

So here is a little early Christmas present.

Enjoy!

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Christmas Pudding

(Makes 1L pudding)

-150g raisins -150g sultanas -150ml brandy -75g salted butter, and extra for greasing -75g dark brown sugar -2 eggs -50g ground chestnuts -100g ground almonds -150g dried cranberries -1/4tsp grated nutmeg -1/2tsp baking powder -Grated zest and juice of 1/2 orange and 1/2 lemon -100ml dark beer -75ml sherry

  1. Soak the raisins and sultanas in 75ml of brandy overnight.
  2. Grease a litre pudding basin and line with parchment at the base.
  3. Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add one egg at a time and continue to mix until combined.
  4. Stir in the ground nuts, followed by the soaked dried fruit, cranberries, nutmeg, baking powder and citrus zest and juice. Stir in the beer and sherry.
  5. Scrape the mixture into the pudding basin and cover loosely with foil to allow for steam and expansion.
  6. Place an upturned plate at the bottom of a large saucepan and add enough water to just cover the plate. Sit the pudding basin on top of the plate and cover the pan with a foil ‘lid’.
  7. With the water simmering, steam for 5 hours, keep topping up the water to avoid the pan boiling dry.
  8. Allow the pudding to cool and then remove the foil and pierce the top of the pudding with a  skewer and pour over the remaining brandy, allowing it to seep into the holes.
  9. Cover the pudding and store in a cool, dry place until Christmas day. Add any left over drops of alcohol throughout the next month and a bit to keep the pudding moist.
  10. To serve, repeat the boiling process for two hours before turning out.
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