Friday, 25 December 2009
My family's favourite Christmas Pudding recipe!
Here, as promised, is the recipe I use to make our traditional family Christmas puddings:
12 oz sultanas
12 oz raisins
6 oz glace cherries, halved or quartered
8 oz finely chopped mixed candied peel
8 oz plain flour
1 level teaspoon ground ginger
1 level teaspoon mixed spice
1 level teaspoon nutmeg ~ freshly grated if possible
1 lb soft brown sugar
8 oz breadcrumbs
10 oz shredded suet ~ beef or vegetable, whichever you prefer
5 fl oz barley wine
5 fl oz brandy
grated rind and juice of 1 orange
1/2 pint milk (approximately)
Grease whatever size of pudding basins you would like your finished Christmas puddings to be ~ this recipe will make enough to fill three 1 pint pudding basins, each one of which will give about six servings.
Sift the flour and spices into a very large mixing bowl (or, like me, use a preserving pan LOL). Stir in the sugar, breadcrumbs, suet, dried fruit and grated orange rind. Beat the eggs and add to them the barley wine, brandy and orange juice; stir this into the dry ingredients and mix well, adding enough milk to give the mixture a soft dropping consistency.
Put the mixture into your well greased pudding basins and cover each one with a doubled-up sheet of greaseproof paper, with a pleat in the centre to allow for expansion whilst the pudding is steaming. I used to fiddle about with string to keep the paper in place, but one year I had a brainwave and now use elastic bands instead! Bring a pan of water to the boil and place the pudding, in a steamer, on top; turn the water down to a steady simmer. The puddings will take between 5 and 7 hours to steam; the largest one here steamed for 7 hours, the smallest for 5 hours and the other two steamed away for 6 hours! I usually set my timer for one-hour-at-a-time so that I remember to watch the level of water in the pan, and keep it topped it up as necessary with boiling water from the kettle.
At the end of the steaming period, take the pudding from the steamer and remove the greaseproof paper. Cover with a clean tea-towel and leave on one side to cool. When the pudding is totally cold, remove it from the basin and wrap in a fresh double sheet of greaseproof paper and then wrap tightly in cooking foil. Store the puddings in a cool place. I really like to make my puddings towards the end of October and we usually have one at Easter, too. They should keep well, what with all the sugar and alcohol in them!
When you want to eat your yummy Christmas pudding, you can either gently steam it for about 1 1/2 hours or reheat in the microwave. I can't really tell you how long to cook the pudding in the microwave as it is very much a trial-and-error process! I just tend to heat it on full in approximately five minute bursts until it is good and hot all the way through.
Serve your pudding with whatever your family likes best ~ rum butter, cream, a white sauce, custard, etc. We like to have our's either with cream or a white sauce with brandy, which I make very simply like custard ~ just substitute the custard powder for cornflour and add brandy to taste!
I hope you enjoy this recipe. You can tweak away to your heart's content on the proportions and kinds of dried fruit, so long as the total amount remains about the same. You could also have a little less fruit and add nuts. Make the recipe your own by using the fruit (and nuts) that you and your family like to eat :-)