As I confessed in my recent Christmas Cake post here I don’t always do a homemade Christmas pudding. After writing that, it struck me that this was really very lazy of me. “Call yourself a cook?” I asked myself, and resolved there and then to make one this year and every year. Honestly, it’s so incredibly easy and quick to make and doesn’t involve sophisticated baking skills.
The first thing you need to do is find a recipe. The one I recommend is this one by Bertinet’s in Bath. I’ve also bought Bertinet’s puddings in the past so when I found this recipe I was confident it would be delicious. I’ve also made Delia’s pudding (pretty sure you’ll find it online if you haven’t got her wonderful, and in my case much used, Christmas book) and one by the great Nigel Slater. My preference will always be not to mess about with the recipe and to stick to traditional ingredients, but if you fancy trying something a bit different, there are plenty of suggestions out there. For me, part of the beauty of preparing the Christmas meal is that it is the same (more or less) every year. With all that’s going on at that time of year, and the many tasks that need to be done, it takes the pressure off if you are not having to think up a new, imaginative menu on top of everything else.
So back to my pudding. You will see from the photos that I could not fit all my mixture in the recommended 2 pint basin and ended up with an additional small pudding; I intend to give this as a gift to the hostess of a party we’ve been invited to.
You will need a 2 pint pudding basin (and maybe an additional small basin – see above)
- 100g currants
- 200g seedless raisins
- 200g sultanas
- 60g glacé cherries
- 60g chopped candied peel
- 90g blanched almonds, sliced into slivers
- ½ cooking apple, peeled, cored and coarsely chopped
- ½ carrot, peeled and grated
- Zest and juice of half an orange
- Zest and juice of half a lemon
- 115g finely chopped suet
- 115g plain flour
- 60g white bread or brioche crumbs
- 115 soft brown sugar
- ½ tsp mixed spice
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- ¼ nutmeg, grated
- ½ tsp salt
- 3 eggs
- ½ can Guinness
- 2 tbsps brandy
- Put all the ingredients, apart from the orange and lemon juices, brandy, Guinness and eggs, into a large bowl and mix thoroughly
- In a separate bowl beat the eggs until frothy and add the orange and lemon juices, Guinness and brandy
- Add to the mixture in the other bowl and mix thoroughly until all incorporated
- Fill your basin with the mixture and place a circle of greaseproof paper on top
- Place in the fridge for at least 12 hours but up to 48 hours
- Steaming really couldn’t be easier than in the Aga: cover the pudding with clingfilm and then take a saucepan which holds the pudding basin and make sure you can fit the lid on
- Place the pudding in it and pour in water about half way up the basin
- Bring this to the boil on the boiling plate
- Check the water level, put the lid on or cover with foil and place in the simmering oven to “steam” for at least 12 hours. Do it overnight and you will wake up to a heavenly Christmas-y aroma.
- Leave the pudding to cool in its clingfilm
- I then wrap mine in muslin and tie it with string as you can see in the photo above. Foil or extra clingfilm would be fine; I just think it looks pretty (and traditional) in the muslin
- On Christmas Day all you have to do is put the basin, wrapped in foil, in the simmering oven for four hours. How easy is that?