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Christmas Pudding Recipe

A steamed pudding, made from a rich mixture of dried fruit, candied peel, spices and often liqueur. Its recipe can be traced back to 'plum pottage' and 'plum pudding'.
It’s best started the day (or even two days) before, as the prunes need soaking and the cooking time is long.

Key Features

  • Suitable for Vegetarians

Ingredients

Ingredients for six helpings (2 x 2 pint pudding basins):

12ogr/4 oz Large Prunes – stone in
300ml/ ½ pint of dark Beer, such as Bitter or Guinness
the grated Rind and Juice of 1 Lemon
2 tablespoons (30ml) Black Treacle
4 medium Eggs
4 tablespoons (60ml) of Dark Rum or Brandy
120gr/ 4 oz Self-Raising Flour
240gr/ 8 oz Shredded Suet
240gr/ 8 oz Fresh White Breadcrumbs
360gr/ 12 oz Soft Brown Sugar
60gr/ 2 oz Flaked Almonds
240gr/ 8 oz Seedless Raisins
240gr/ 8 oz Currants
240gr/ 8 oz Sultanas
120gr/ 4 oz Chopped Mixed Peel
2ml/ ½ teaspoon Mixed Spice
2ml/ ½ teaspoon Ground Nutmeg
2ml/ ½ teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
2ml/ ½ teaspoon Salt
a little Butter

Equipment needed: 2 x heat-proof pudding basins, 2 pieces of muslin (or very-clean kitchen cloths), string for tying these. A big container, able to hold the pudding basins - side by side. A lid to fit this, or a wide enough sheet of tin foil to comfortably cover the top.

Method

1. Soak the prunes in the beer, until they're soft enough to stone and chop. This may take overnight. Return the chopped prunes to the beer - discard the stones.2. Add the grated zest and juice from the lemon, sieving out the pips.

3. Heat the treacle until it's runny, then add this to the beer mixture, followed by the eggs and rum/brandy.

4. Mix all the dry ingredients together in a big bowl, then add the beer mixture - mixing it very thoroughly.

5. Butter the pudding basins, then share the pudding mixture between them.

6. Cover each pudding with muslin (or similar) and tie this down with string.

7. Put the puddings in your chosen steaming container, and half-fill the container with water. Cover this loosely with tin foil or a fitting lid, if you have one.

8. Bring the water to the boil then simmer steadily for 10 hours - being careful to keep the pan topped up. This will have to be done several times.

Remove the puddings from the water, allow to cool a little, and serve.

Brandy butter (q.v), is a traditional accompaniment.

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