I thought I should share my Traditional Christmas Pudding recipe with you, seeing as how I was banging on about it so much the other day. It's a winning recipe, just ask my son Linus and my sister Liza. No wait, they can't answer at the moment, they're in the northern hemisphere with their mouths full of this Traditional Christmas Pudding (read here for the back-story).
Traditional Christmas Pudding:
NOTE: You will need to begin the recipe the day before.
Grease 2 x 1 litre pudding basins with butter. Set aside.
4 thick slices of stale white bread, crumbed
180g dates (mejool), chopped
270g prunes, chopped
80g glace cherries, chopped (I used a mixture of yellow, red and green)
Juice and finely grated rind of 1 orange
1/2 cup brandy
1/2 cup stout (or other dark ale)
1 large carrot, coarsely grated
250g unsalted butter, room temperature
120g caster sugar
120g light brown sugar
180g cake flour
1 tablespoon mixed spice
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
The night before, Put the dried fruit into a large mixing bowl and pour in the orange juice. Leave to soak overnight.
The next day, put the bread into a small bowl and cover with the milk. Set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugars until pale and fluffy. Squeeze the milk out of the bread and beat the bread into the butter mixture.
Add the eggs, one at a time. Add a little of the flour to stop it from curdling.
In a large bowl, mix the rest of the flour with the mixed spice, salt and nutmeg. Stir it into the butter mixture.
Add the soaked fruit along with any juice that has collected and gently stir it in.
Fold in the brandy and stout. Pour the mixture evenly into the prepared pudding basins. Butter two pieces of baking paper, make a pleat in the middle of the paper to allow the pudding to expand, and cover the basins with them. Top with a sheet of pleated foil, each and secure them with elastic bands. Steam on a low simmer (water about 3/4 way up the sides of the bowls) for six hours. Remove from steamer, allow to cool and wrap them in a double layer of cling film. Store them in the fridge until Christmas day.
On Christmas day, take off the double layer of cling film, leaving the tin foil and baking paper in place, and steam again for a further 2 hours before slicing and eating with cold custard. (I keep one stored in the fridge for a whole year until next Christmas.)