Traditionally Christmas puddings are made on 'Stir-Up Sunday', late in November, when everyone in the house can help by giving the mixture a stir and making a wish while they're doing it. These quantities will make 1 large pudding (filling a 1.2 litre basin) or two 600ml ones - either way the puddings will need to steam for 8 hours. This recipe is based on an old family favourite that I have cooked many times - I've updated a few things along the way. It looks like a rather long list of ingredients, but it's worth it for every compliment you'll get when the pudding is shared on Christmas Day.
- 100g shredded suet
- 50g self-raising flour
- 125g fresh breadcrumbs
- 1 teaspoon mixed spice
- 1⁄4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1⁄4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 225g soft dark brown sugar
- 500g pack of luxury mixed fruit
- 50g roughly chopped pecan nuts
- 1 small apple peeled and coarsely grated
- 1 medium carrot peeled and finely grated
- Grated zest of a small lemon
- Grated zest of a small orange or tangerine
- 1 tablespoon black treacle
- 175ml Guinness or Murphy's stout
- 2 large eggs.
Cooking Time: 8 hours
- Start by mixing everything except the eggs, treacle and stout in a large bowl.
- In a separate bowl beat the eggs with the stout and treacle then pour this over the dry ingredients. Mix it very thoroughly letting everyone take a turn, not forgetting to make their wish. The mix should be very soft and fall off the spoon immediately. If it's too dry add a little more stout. Cover the bowl and leave it in a cool place overnight.
- When you're ready put the mixture into a lightly greased basin(s) and cover with a double layer of baking parchment and a sheet of foil. Make sure it's tight by tying a piece of string around the rim. Place the basin in a steamer over a pan of boiling water and cook for 8 hours. If you don't have a
steamer, put an upturned saucer on the bottom of a large saucepan, sit the pudding on the top and half fill with boiling water. Put on the lid and cook as before. In both cases make sure that you keep an eye on the water level – topping it up as necessary with boiling water from the kettle.
- When the pudding is cooked let it get cold then remove the papers and replace them with clean ones. Put the pudding somewhere cool and dry until Christmas Day.
- To reheat – steam or boil as before for 2-21⁄2 hours. Remember to check the water every half hour or so.
- Serve with the sauce of your choice - a steaming jug of custard for me. Can't wait!