I was a bit late getting my Christmas pudding made this year but I blame it all on my trying not to succumb to the onslaught of commercial holiday bombardiers that began their advertising attacks the middle of October for crying out loud!
I denied everyone in the house the permission to talk about what they wanted for Christmas, to sing Christmas carols in the car or do anything that remotely felt Christmassy until December 1st. All of this blatant disregard for the Holidays was my way of slowing everything down and trying against all odds to focus on the actual moments of my life as they unfolded.
This however resulted in my forgetting to get my christmas pudding made 6 weeks before I paraded it to our table in a blaze of festive flame and fanfare. Oh well, it will have two weeks less time to cure but I don’t suppose anyone will really notice the difference or scowl at me after the feast I will have laid before them. And it is still not too late for you to try your hand at Christmas Pudding too. It is a complete cinch to make – all you need that might take a bit of hunting for if you live in the United States is a Pudding Bowl.
I do love this Holiday though and I’ll admit that it was really difficult not to get sucked in, so I am very glad that it is now December and I can look forward to getting our tree and dreaming about all the yummy food I am going to cook and the joy this season ⛄️🌲⛄️🌲brings🌲⛄️🌲⛄️
You will need:
1 cup mixture dark raisins, golden raisins & dried cranberries
1/3 cup dried cherries
1/3 cup chopped dried prunes (pitted)
1/3 cup chopped dried dates – pitted (I used medjool dates which have a wonderful flavor)
3/4 cup rum or brandy (I used Bacardi Gold, but any rum will do)
1/2 cup self-raising flour
3/4 cup fine white bread crumbs
1/2 cup, plus 2 tbs vegetable shortening
1 medium apple, peeled and grated
1/2 cup, plus 2 tbs dark brown sugar
zest of 1 orange
1/2 tsp all-spice
1/4 tsp salt
3 large eggs, slightly beaten
1/2 cup vodka or brandy (to flambe before serving)
decoration for the top (holly, berries or some non-flammable ornament)
Equipment: 1 pudding bowl or mold to hold about 4 cups of batter.
1 – Soak fruit in rum or brandy in a covered container overnight, or up to a week.
2 – In a big bowl, mix the rest of the ingredients (except the vodka or brandy) together and then mix fruit into batter.
3 – Turn pudding into greased bowl or mold and place a piece of parchment over the top, before putting on the lid.
5 – Cover the whole bowl in tin foil and set in a saucepan of gently boiling water (the water should come halfway up the bowl. Put lid on pot and cook, checking every now and then to see if water needs to be topped up, for 3 1/2 hours.
6 – Remove from pot and allow to cool before removing the tin foil. Leave in the container in a cool dark place (not the fridge) for 3 to 5 weeks. *Some people add a little more alcohol to the pudding every week or so, and you can do this if you like (I don’t as I’m not a big fan of alco-tasting desserts)
On the day you are serving: re-steam the pudding (wrap in foil again) for another 3 hours. If you want to flambe the pudding for presentation purposes, put the brandy or vodka into a pot and place it on medium heat. Just before it comes to a boil, turn the heat off and set it alight. Immediately pour the flaming liquid over the pudding and serve. Serve warm with custard, brandy butter or fresh cream (recipe for custard and brandy butter will be posted before Christmas!)