It’s time for you to get your Christmas Pudding made and steamed if you want it to taste luscious on December 25th! This has been a fun little process of building up to the actual making of the pudding (check out this and this and this and this).
This is what I did yesterday at about 5pm. It is totally easy (even though the list of ingredients and instructions look crazily daunting!) and requires only that you stick around as it steams. I made dinner (and ate dinner) while hanging around the stove last night.
The recipe is below and it has some options. I decided to be a little adventurous and added an element of chocolate to my pudding mixture this year. I have no idea how that will turn out but it’s chocolate: how can I go wrong!
I also used a sherry I never tried before ( pedro Ximénez) and as one of my dried fruits, I used blueberries.
I cannot wait to see how it turns out and I love and hate that I will not know the answer to that question until I bite into my dessert on December 25th! I will be sure to write about it and let you know!
You will need:
- 3 cups dried fruit of your choice: I used 1 cup each of dried blueberries, cherries and currants. But you can also use, figs (cut up), prunes (cut up), raisins etc
- 1/2 cup of liquor such as good quality sweet sherry or golden rum
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- t tbsp unsweetened cocoa (optional)
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp All spice or mixed spice or Pumpkin Pie Spice mix
- 1/2 cup breadcrumbs (you don’t have to go out and buy breadcrumbs. simple toss a slice of bread in your food processor and blitz into crumbs or great the bread by hand with a cheese grater)
- 1 medium apple – peeled (grate into mixing bowl when instructed below)
- zest of an orange (zest the orange straight into the mixing bowl when it’s time to add it)
- 4 oz dark chocolate (70% cocoa), crumbled in a food processor and chopped into little pieces (Optional)
- 1/2 cups plus 2 tbsp brown sugar (dark brown sugar is best, but don’t go buying it if you have the lighter version)
- 10 tbsp (5oz) vegetable shortening (such as Crisco) OR Beef Suet
- 3 large eggs, beaten in a separate bowl (just beat together with a fork)
- Vodka (about a 1/2 cup but you only need this on the day you serve the pudding – it is to flambé to serve)
Soak the fruit in the liquor overnight but for up to a week. cover the bowl and store in a dark cool spot. (look here if you want more detailed instructions on this)
- Place all the dry ingredients in a large bowl and mix together with a wooden spoon or a hand whisk (flour, baking powder, breadcrumbs, spices, sugar, salt, cocoa powder (if using), chocolate bits (if using)
- grate in the apple and zest the orange into the mixture and mix
- mix in the shortening in little blobs, along with the eggs into the bowl. Stir everything together really well
- Butter the inside of your pudding basin/tin and add the pudding.
- cover the top of the pudding with some wax paper (I cut a bigger round than the diameter of the top of my pudding tin and made a fold in the middle and it also went up the sides a bit. Put the pudding lid on securely.
- Cover the pudding basin with tin foil to seal it completely.
- Place a large pot on the stove top (big enough to hold the pudding basin with about an inch to spare at the top) and put the pudding basin into the pot. Add water until it comes about 1/3 way up the pudding basin( a little higher is fine too) and turn heat to high until the water comes to a boil.
- cover pot with a tight-fitting lid and turn heat down until water is at a gentle steady boil.
- Boil for 4 hours, topping up the water level as needed. You will need to keep checking this and add water at least every hour.
- Turn off heat and remove pudding basin from water and when it has cooled completely, unwrap the foil and remove the wax paper. Put the lid back on and store in a cool dark spot until Christmas day.
ON CHRISTMAS DAY YOU WILL NEED TO DO THE FOLLOWING (about 5 hours or more before serving):
- Re-steam the pudding for three hours – look above for steaming instructions, as a reminder (it is not as stressful as it seems as it needs no real attention).
- When it has steamed again, let it cool and then remove it to your serving plate.
- Right before serving, pour about a 1/2 cup of vodka into a pot and bring to a low boil. when it is boiling, set it alight and when it is flaming, pour it over your pudding.
It will be lit up and you need to rush it to the table so everyone can see its grand entrance!