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.
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.
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.
(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
- Soak the raisins and sultanas in 75ml of brandy overnight.
- Grease a litre pudding basin and line with parchment at the base.
- Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add one egg at a time and continue to mix until combined.
- 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.
- Scrape the mixture into the pudding basin and cover loosely with foil to allow for steam and expansion.
- 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’.
- With the water simmering, steam for 5 hours, keep topping up the water to avoid the pan boiling dry.
- 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.
- 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.
- To serve, repeat the boiling process for two hours before turning out.