Friday, 23 November 2012

#BoozyFruitFriday - Perfect Christmas Pudding

It's a month till Christmas this Sunday and on top of the last minute panic for presents, decorations and deciding which in-laws to visit, it's also time - if you haven't started already - to get the Christmas pudding on the go! Christmas puddings taste the best the longer they've been left to mature, so you might even want to use the recipe to make two and have an incredible pud next year too!

You'll Need:

  • 110g shredded suet
  • 110g sultanas
  • 110g raisins
  • 250g currants
  • 25g finely chopped mixed candied peel
  • 1 small cooking apple, peeled/cored/finely chopped
  • zest of 1/2 large orange
  • zest of 1/2 lemon
  • 55g self-raising flour
  • 4 tbsp good quality brandy (and some extra for topping up)
  • 1 tsp ground mixed spice
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 110g soft, dark brown sugar
  • 110g white breadcrumbs
  • 25g chopped almonds
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 2 1/2 pint greased pudding basin
What to Do: (Serves 8-10)
  1. Place the sultanas, raisins, currants, candied peel, apple, orange and lemon into a large mixing bowl. Add the brandy and stir. Cover the bowl and leave to marinate for anytime between overnight up to a few days (Leave it over the weekend in the office if you like!)
  2. In another large mixing bowl, stir together the flour, mixed spice, nutmeg and cinnamon. Add the suet, lemon and orange zests, brown sugar, breadcrumbs and almonds and stir together until all ingredients are combined. Add the marinated fruits and stir again.
  3. Beat the eggs into a seperate bowl then add to the mixture and stir in until all ingredients are combined.
  4. If you so please, now's the time to add your loose change to the bowl!
  5. Spoon the mixture into the greased pudding basin, pressing down on the mixture with a spoon. Cover with a layer of greaseproof paper, then a layer of tin foil then, finally, tie up with string. 
  6. Place the pudding in a steamer over a pan of simmering water and steam for 7-8 hours, taking care to frequently check the water level so that it is not boiling dry. The pudding will be a deep brown colour once cooked.
  7. Remove the pudding from the steamer and leave to completely cool down. Remove the wrapping, make a hole with a skewer and add more brandy. Cover with a new sheet of greaseproof paper, tie up again and store until Christmas Day.
  8. Feel free to top up the pudding with extra brandy every week or so for more of a boozy dessert!
  9. Be sure to not eat immediately, leave for a few weeks and only reheat to serve on Christmas Day. 
It may seem a lot easier if you just bought your own pudding but there's nothing like the satisfaction of keeping to tradition. You can even leave the fruit to marinate from Friday until you come back on Monday then make the rest of the pudding in the comfort of your own home! Let us know nearer Christmas how your puddings came out in the comments below!

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