Old-fashioned Christmas pudding
- December 2012
- Makes two puddings, each serving 10
- Takes 15 minutes to make, 6-7½ hours to cook, plus cooling
This is the definitive recipe for a traditional, old-fashioned Christmas pudding, inspired by the one and only Mrs Beeton.
Leftovers? Throw together this light and creamy, Christmas pudding-flecked semifreddo – it’s really quick and easy but looks beautiful.
- 12.6g (4.1g saturated)
- 43.2g (35g sugars)
For 10 people (per pudding)
- Butter for greasing
- 100g suet
- 200g light muscovado sugar
- 50g fresh breadcrumbs
- 100g plain flour
- 300g raisins
- 200g sultanas
- 100g currants
- 100g blanched almonds, roughly chopped
- 100g shelled brazil nuts, roughly chopped
- Zest and juice of 1 lemon
- 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
- Grease 2 x 800ml pudding bowls with butter. Cut 2 squares each of foil and baking paper, large enough to fit over the bowls with some overhang. Put a foil square over each piece of baking paper and set aside.
- In a mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients, then spoon the mixture into the 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.
- If you have 2 collapsible steamers, fit them into 2 deep pans (otherwise, steam each pudding in turn). Rest the pudding bowls on top, then pour in boiling water to halfway up each basin, ensuring it won’t reach the string when it bubbles. Put tightly fitting lids onto each pan, then bring to a gentle simmer and steam for 5-5½ hours until a skewer pushed into the puddings comes out clean. Remove the bowls from the pans, cool, then store in a cool, dry place.
- On the day you want to serve, steam as in step 3 for 1-2 hours more – this second steaming intensifies the flavours. Once done, the pudding can sit in the water, off the heat but with the lid on, for a couple of hours, while you get on with making Christmas lunch. Warm some brandy in a pan, then pour over the puddings and set alight to serve.
After the first steaming, store the cooled puddings in a cool cupboard for up to 12 months. Steam again on the day.
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