The very best fruity Christmas pudding.
This homemade Christmas Pudding recipe is my mum’s. It is very easy to make-just an assembly job. What, I think, puts most people off is the length of time it takes to cook. You really need to steam it for at least 4-5 hours which results in a light texture. -This pudding is packed with fruit and it’s very different from any shop-bought puddings that I have tasted. I find these very oversweet and they often have a ‘pasty’ texture that I don’t care for!. You can make it a few weeks in advance or a few days in advance.
The Very Best Fruity Christmas Pudding
This makes 1 large Christmas pudding (1 litre/2pt), these are approx 17cm but they do vary in height – very confusing, and 3 mini Christmas puddings* (8cm diameter-foil cases) to give as presents to (v special) friends!
50g blanched almonds
1 eating apple i.e. Cox’s
160g fresh white breadcrumbs
50g Plain white flour
160g shredded suet
175g light Muscovado sugar
175g large raisins
50g cut mixed peel
½ tsp mixed spice/ ½ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1 lemon, grate the rind first and then juice
3 large eggs
4 tbsp. brandy or sherry
A little milk (if necessary)
To flame the pudding- Approx. ½ ladle of brandy
- Grease the basin – (if you are not sure about the size of your bowl, fill it up with water and then pour into a measuring jug). Put a circle of greasproof paper in the bottom of each which will help to turn the pudding out easily. Prepare a steamer, foil and greaseproof paper. (See below how to do this)
- Chop up the almonds. Peel and grate apple. Put in a large bowl with all the other ingredients.
- Mix thoroughly-make sure you get some help with this-and make a wish. Fill your greased bowl-there should be some space between the top of the pudding and the edge of the bowl but it doesn’t rise very much. Press down well. Cover with the prepared paper, tie up securely and cover over with the foil and tie again. (To make it easy to lift it in and out of the steamer I put the basin on a square of muslin and then pull up the sides, loosely and tie into a knot over the top. You have then got something to hang on to -but this is not strictly necessary).
- Place in a large pan with a lid (or a steamer if you have one)- if you put a saucer or a small plate on the bottom it will cut down on the rattling. Steam the large pudding for 5 hours.
- Keep topping up the steamer with boiling water when necessary. Keep a kettle by the steamer to make this easy. You are best to set a timer to check it every 30 minutes or so or you may forget and then the pudding can burn.
- Remove from the pan. Leave to cool and then replace the greaseproof and foil/string etc. Store in the fridge or a cool place.
- On Christmas day steam pudding for at least an hour and longer if possible.
- When ready to serve invert the pudding onto a large warmed plate with a lip to take the brandy if you are going to flame it -and who wouldn’t! It gives the outside of the pudding a lovely caramelised flavour.
- How to flame-heat up ½ ladle full of brandy over a gas flame. When hot carry it over to the pudding, light it and then carefully pour over the pudding. The alcohol will burn off as it caramelises the outside of the pudding.
Wait until the flames subside and then serve with brandy or rum sauce or double cream
*For the mini Christmas puddings -grease the foil cases and put a circle of greaseproof paper in the bottom. Cover loosely with greaseproof paper and tie and then cover with the foil. Steam as before for about 2 and a half hours.
HOW TO MAKE A STEAMER:
- Take a large piece of greaseproof paper and a large sheet of thick foil.
- Fold a pleat across each. There should be enough paper/foil to cover the top of the bowl and to hang down about 4cm all round.
- Place the paper over the bowl and then scrunch up under the rim and tie securely with string. Repeat with the foil and tie. It’s much easier to do this with another pair of hands-if you get someone with surgical/boy scout training they should be able to do a one handed knot!
- Now it’s ready to put into the steamer.
2tbsp. corn flour
1 ½ tbsp sugar (or more to taste)
2 tbsp. brandy or rum
- Make a white sauce either in a pan or the microwave.
- Add the sugar and rum and pour into a warm jug.