The Best Christmas Pudding

Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Medium

  • Makes

    1

    large and 1 small pudding

Appears in

This is certainly the best pudding I have eaten, Because it has no sugar and no flour it is lighter in texture than usual and much more palatable after a rich meal.

Ingredients

  • butter, for greasing
  • 3 oz (75 g) glace cherries
  • 6 oz (175 g) candied peel
  • 12 oz (375 g) seedless raisins
  • 6 oz (175 g) pitted prunes, roughly chopped
  • 6 oz (175 g) currants
  • 3 oz (75 g) walnut pieces
  • 8 oz (250 g) fresh white breadcrumbs
  • 8 oz (250 g) shredded suet
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml spoon) ground cinnamon
  • ¼ whole nutmeg, grated
  • 6 eggs
  • 2 oranges, juice and coarsely grated rind
  • ¼ pint (150 ml) stout
  • 3 tablespoons (3 x 15 ml spoons) brandy, rum or whisky

Method

Generously butter a 2-pint (1.1-litre) and a 1-pint (600 ml) pudding basin. Chop up the glacé cherries roughly. Put the dried fruit, walnuts, orange rind, breadcrumbs, suet and spices in a large bowl and mix thoroughly.

Whisk the eggs until frothy and thicken and stir into the dried ingredients. Lastly stir in the orange juice, stout and spirits, adding enough to make a mixture which just drops from the spoon.

Spoon the mixture into the pudding basins and smooth the tops, Cover each basin with a double layer of well buttered foil and tie tightly with string, making a string handle to lift out the basin. Put the basins, preferably on racks or inverted saucers, into large saucepans and pout in boiling water to come three-quarters of the way up the sides of each basin. Cover the pan and steam, for about 6 hours for the larger basin and 4-5 hours for the smaller, checking to see if the water needs topping up after about 2 hours.

When the puddings are cold, put them away in a dark, cool place, where they will keep for 2-3 months if necessary. On Christmas Day, replace the buttered foil with clean layers and steam for another hour or so before serving with brandy butter or whipped cream.

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