We love Christmas pudding. I make mine in October, and give many away as gifts. I make several sizes, and try to keep about 3 for us-one for Christmas, another for New Year, and the last for around Easter. I find it very satisfying to make these, though I can hardly wait to eat the first one! This recipe is a combination of 2 favourites and works well. If you don't want to use the stout and brandy, use orange juice as one of the recipes suggested-I think the stout and brandy give the recipe depth of flavour.
- 2 cups sultanas (golden raisins)
- 1 1⁄2 cups raisins (chopped)
- 1 cup prune (chopped)
- 1 cup mixed peel, chopped (mixed candied fruit)
- 1 lemon, zest of
- 1 orange zest
- 1⁄2 cup blanched almond, chopped
- 1 large carrot, grated
- 250 g butter
- 2 cups soft white breadcrumbs
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 cup plain flour
- 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
- 1⁄2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1⁄2 teaspoon mixed spice (I think pumpkin pie spice is similar)
- 4 eggs
- 1⁄2 cup milk
- 200 ml stout beer (Guiness is OK)
- 50 ml brandy
- Grease 2 large pudding basins.
- Bring two large saucepans of water to the boil with a trivet or rack in the bottom of each.
- (I actually use two old pottery saucers in the bottom of mine) Mix all dry ingredients together.
- Rub butter into dry ingredients with your fingertips, add prepared fruit and grated carrot.
- Mix egg, milk, stout, brandy and rinds together.
- Mix the moist and dry ingredients together.
- (I find this easier to do with my hands).
- Place mixture in basins, allowing a little room at the top of the basins for the puddings to swell.
- Cover with greasproof paper, then two thicknesses of aluminum foil.
- Tie securely with string.
- Place the puddings into the prepared saucepans-- water should reach halfway up them-- and boil steadily for 5 hours.
- As the water boils away replace with more boiling water.
- On the day the pudding is to be served, boil for 1 hour mmore.
- Serve with cream, icecream, custard or brandy sauce (or all of these!).
- Last year, I discovered it works fine just to microwave individual slices rather than reheating for 1 hour.
- We also love the leftovers cold or re-fried in butter!