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A traditional British winter classic that is dark in appearance, rich and heavy with fruit and spices. Despite this, the recipe is surprisingly light and is perfect after a heavy Christmas dinner.
- 350g mixed dried fruit
- 100g glacé cherries
- 40g mixed peel
- 40g ground almonds
- 75g bread crumbs
- 40g grated carrot
- 60g grated apple
- 50g suet
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon mixed spice
- 1 tablespoon golden syrup
- 1 tablespoon treacle
- 75g brown sugar
- 1 egg
- 50ml brandy
- 75ml beer (brown ale)
- 1 orange (zest and juice)
- 1 lemon (zest and juice)
Preparation Time: 24 hours soaking + 30 minutes + up to 2 months
Cooking Time: 5 hours + 2 hours
- Put the mixed dried fruit, the glacé cherries, the mixed peel, the brandy, the beer, the lemon juice and the orange juice into a bowl. Thoroughly mix them together cover them and leave them to soak at room temperature for 24 hours.
- The next day, cut out two disks of greaseproof paper: one the size of the bottom of your pudding basin and one the same size as the top of the pudding basin. We used a 1 litre pudding basin.
- Butter the inside of the pudding basin, place the smaller disk of greaseproof paper in the bottom of it and butter that as well.
- Put all of the other ingredients for the pudding into the bowl with the dried fruit that was soaking over night. Mix them all together until they are well combined.
- Make a wish while stirring the pudding.
- Pour the pudding mixture into the buttered pudding basin, butter one side of the larger disk of grease proof paper and put this on the top of the pudding, butter side facing down.
- Put a large piece of greaseproof paper on top of a large piece of tin foil and make a pleat in the middle.
- Place this over the pudding with the pleat running across the middle of the pudding basin. Then fold down the sides of the foil and tie it securely with string.
- Put the pudding on top of a strip of tin foil, the length of which is three times the height of the pudding basin. This will act as a sling to help with getting the pudding in and out of the pan.
- Put a trivet into the bottom of a large pan and, using said sling, lower the pudding into the pan. Pour in enough water to come half way up the side of the pudding basin.
- Put the lid on the pan, bring the water up to a simmer and steam the pudding for 5 hours. During this time, keep checking the water level in the pan to make sure it doesn’t boil dry.
- After the time, lift the pudding out of the pan and allow it to cool to room temperature before putting it in a cool dark place to mature for at least 1 week. Don’t remove the foil lid as this acts as a seal, keeping the pudding air tight and not exposed to bacteria in the atmosphere.
- When Christmas day is upon us once again... DON’T PANIC!
- Again, put a trivet into the bottom of a large pan, lower the pudding into it, pour in enough water to come half way up the side of the pudding basin, bring it up to a simmer and steam the pudding for another 2 hours.
- Lift the pudding basin from the pan, remove the string, the foil and the greaseproof paper disk and place a large serving plate on top of the pudding basin.
- Wearing a pair of ovengloves, hold the plate onto the pudding basin and turn the pudding over so that the plate is now underneath the pudding. Then lift off the pudding basin to reveal the pudding and remove the small greaseproof disk. You must put a piece of holly on the top, otherwise Santa won’t visit you again next year.
- The most effective way to flambé the pudding is to heat up about 100ml of brandy in a small sauce pan until it is hot but not boiling. Then carefully take a lit match to it and pour this over the out-turned pudding, stand back and "Ooo!" with admiration.
- Traditionally, when the pudding was being stirred (stage 5), a coin was put into the pudding mixture which was supposed to bring good luck to whoever found it in their slice of pudding. This practice has now largely been abandoned due to the high cost of the dental work needed to repair the chipped teeth that result from accidentally eating it.