Christmas Pudding Recipe
source: Donna Hay
¼ cup brown sugar
¼ cup granulated sugar
½ cup (4floz) brandy or sherry
¾ cup chopped pitted prunes or dates
¾ cup sultanas
⅔ cup (5floz) milk
⅔ cup candied mixed peel
⅔ cup slivered almonds
1 cup currants
1 cup plain (all-purpose) flour, sifted
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon mixed spice
1 x 80cm (30in) square of calico cloth
1½ cups raisins, halved
250g (8¾oz) butter, softened
250g (8¾oz) breadcrumbs, fresh
plain (all-purpose) flour, extra
1. Place the sultanas, currants, raisins, prunes, mixed peel, almonds and brand in a bowl and allow to soak for at least 4 hours.
2. Place the butter, brown sugar and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat until light and creamy.
3. Gradually add the eggs and beat well.
4. Transfer the butter mixture to a large bowl.
5. Add the fruit mixture, flour, cinnamon, mixed spice, breadcrumbs and milk and mix with a wooden spoon until well combined.
6. Wearing rubber gloves, dip the calico in boiling water and carefully squeeze to remove and excess water.
7. While the cloth is still hot, rub in the extra flour to form a skin around the pudding.
8. Place the fruit mixture in the middle and gather up the ends of the cloth frimly around it.
9. Tie the cloth with kitchen string as close to the mixture as possible, making a loop at the end of the string.
10. Place the pudding in a saucepan of boiling water and boil for 4 hours 30 minutes. Adding more water if necessary.
11. Remove the pudding from the pan and hang on the broomstick over a sink.
12. Allow to cool.
13. Store in the cloth for up to 2 months.
14. To reheat, boil for 45 minutes and drain for 5 minutes.
15. Unwrap and serve with brandy butter.
Traditional Christmas Pudding
source: Delia Smith
¼ level teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
½ large orange, grated zest
½ large lemon, grated zest
1 level teaspoon ground mixed spice
1 small cooking apple, peeled, cored and finely chopped
1oz (25g) mixed candied peel, finely chopped (buy whole peel if possible, then chop it yourself)
1oz (25g) almonds, skinned and chopped
2oz (50 g) self-raising flour, sifted
2 tablespoons rum
2 large eggs
2½floz (75ml) barley wine
2½fl oz (75ml) stout
4oz (110g) white breadcrumbs
4oz (110g) shredded suet
4oz (110g) sultanas
4oz (110g) raisins
8oz (225g) soft dark brown sugar
10oz (275g) currants
good pinch ground cinnamon
You will also need a 2 pint (1.2 litre) pudding basin, lightly greased
1. Begin the day before you want to steam the pudding.
2. Take your largest, roomiest mixing bowl and start by putting in the suet, sifted flour and breadcrumbs, spices and sugar. Mix these ingredients very thoroughly together, then gradually mix in all the dried fruit, mixed peel and nuts followed by the apple and the grated orange and lemon zests. Don’t forget to tick everything off so as not to leave anything out.
3. Now in a smaller basin measure out the rum, barley wine and stout, then add the eggs and beat these thoroughly together.
4. Next pour this over all the other ingredients, and begin to mix very thoroughly. It’s now traditional to gather all the family round, especially the children, and invite everyone to have a really good stir and make a wish. The mixture should have a fairly sloppy consistency – that is, it should fall instantly from the spoon when this is tapped on the side of the bowl. If you think it needs a bit more liquid add a spot more stout.
5. Cover the bowl and leave overnight.
6. Next day pack the mixture into the lightly greased basin, cover it with a double sheet of silicone paper (baking parchment) and a sheet of foil and tie it securely with string (you really need to borrow someone’s finger for this.). It’s also a good idea to tie a piece of string across the top to make a handle.
7. Place the pudding in a steamer set over a saucepan of simmering water and steam the pudding for 8 hours. Do make sure you keep a regular eye on the water underneath and top it up with boiling water from the kettle from time to time.
8. When the pudding is steamed let it get quite cold, then remove the steam papers and foil and replace them with some fresh ones, again making a string handle for easier manoeuvring.
9. Now your Christmas pudding is all ready for Christmas Day. Keep it in a cool place away from the light. Under the bed in an unheated bedroom is an ideal place.
10. To cook, fill a saucepan quite full with boiling water, put it on the heat and, when it comes back to the boil, place a steamer on top of the pan and turn it down to a gentle simmer.
11. Put the Christmas pudding in the steamer, cover and leave to steam away for 2¼ hours. You’ll need to check the water from time to time and maybe top it up a bit.
12. To serve, remove the pudding from the steamer and take off the wrapping. Slide a palette knife all round the pudding, then turn it out on to a warmed plate. Place a suitably sized sprig of holly on top.
13. Now warm a ladleful of brandy over direct heat, and as soon as the brandy is hot ask someone to set light to it. Place the ladle, now gently flaming, on top of the pudding – but don’t pour it over until you reach the table. When you do, pour it slowly over the pudding, sides and all, and watch it flame to the cheers of the assembled company!
14. When both flames have died down, serve the pudding with rum sauce, or rum or brandy butter.
15. If you want to make individual Christmas puddings for gifts, this quantity makes eight 6oz (175g) small metal pudding basins. Steam them for 3 hours, then re-steam for 1 hour. They look pretty wrapped in silicone paper and muslin and tied with attractive bows and tags.