Classic Christmas pudding
Get into the festive spirit with all the family by making a delicious homemade Christmas pudding to serve on Christmas day. It’ll certainly impress your guests when you tell them that your own fair hands made it.
Traditionally families would gather together to prepare the pudding on the last Sunday before Advent for ‘stir-up Sunday’, allowing each person to take a turn at stirring and to make a wish. This year it falls on Sunday 21 November 2021 so make sure you have all your ingredients at the ready!
If you haven’t got a family recipe, which has been handed down through generations, then you might like to try the recipe below. Don’t forget to add a silver coin to the mixture – the person who finds it in their serving is said to receive health, wealth and happiness in the following year.
This recipe makes two 800ml puddings
• Butter, for greasing
• 100g suet
• 200g light muscovado sugar
• 50g white breadcrumbs
• 100g plain flour
• 300g raisins
• 200g sultanas
• 100g currants
• 100g almonds, roughly chopped
• 100g brazil nuts, shelled and roughly chopped
• 1 lemon, zest and juice
• 4 medium free-range eggs
• 1 eating apple, grated
• 100g dried figs, roughly chopped
• 100ml brandy, plus extra to serve
• 2 (heaped) tbsp mixed spice
• 3 tbsp clear honey
1 Grease 2 x 800ml pudding bowls with the butter. Cut one square of foil and one square of baking paper for each bowl. Make sure they are large enough to fit over the bowls with some overhang. Put a foil square over each piece of baking paper and set aside.
2 Measure the dried fruit and apple into a bowl with the lemon and zest. Add the measured brandy, stir and leave to soak for about an hour.
3 Sift together the flour and mixed spice, whisk the eggs in a separate bowl.
4 In a large mixing bowl combine all the ingredients, then divide the mixture between the two pudding bowls. Place the foil squares, paper-side down, over the bowls, then scrunch around the rims and secure with string. Trim the excess paper so there’s about 1cm overhang under the string.
5 Sit your pudding in the top of a steamer filled with simmering water, cover with a tight lid and steam for 5 – 51/2 hours, topping up the water as necessary, until a skewer pushed into the puddings comes out clean.
6 When cooked through, remove the pudding from the pan and cool completely. Discard the paper and foil and replace with fresh. Store in a cool, dry place.
7 On the day you want to serve, steam as in step 5 for 1 – 2 hours to reheat. Once done, turn the pudding onto a serving plate. Warm some brandy in a small pan, then pour over the hot pudding and set alight to serve.
• The water needs to be halfway up the side of the bowl when it is in the saucepan for steaming, otherwise, it will not cook through properly.
• After you’ve made and steamed the pudding, store the cooled pudding in a cold dry place for up to twelve months.