Festive Christmas Pudding
And here it is, Merry Christmas! Another year over and another 100 Christmas puddings done. Last year was our first Christmas and I was determined to steam our own Christmas puddings and make our own mince pies. Which we did with plenty of pride, and this year was no different as we have done exactly the same, apart from the fact that we have doubled our production. I made some fantastic British Larder Made hampers, which these beauties feature in.
Sadly last year I got so trapped in the glory and splendour of the Christmas whirlwind that I never managed to get a chance to post the recipe. Well with another season nearly done, I thought I had better post this recipe before another year would have come and gone again. To be truthful, our kitchen recipe book is suffering; it’s looking sad, fat-stained, losing pages and is very used. Good in one sense, however I’m concerned that we might lose these valuable recipes, hence I post them on the site and they will be preserved forever. It’s interesting how we here at the British Larder Suffolk we use our own website like a recipe book. I’m not entirely sure why I’m surprised at that fact, as it’s a good thing!
Last year, my puddings got the thumbs up from plenty of happy diners so I’m proud as punch. There are no real secrets apart from lots of passion and drive. To make this amount of Christmas puddings one must not lose momentum and drive. It can weigh you down as it’s a slow process but once you’re in the swing of things it’s easy. Time is of the essence and the earlier the puddings are made the better chance they have of maturing and developing those all important rich flavours. My belief is that the mix must sit in the fridge for two days to thicken, absorb and for all the flavours to develop.
My trademark, or best not well kept secret is that I use the best ingredients I can possibly buy. The ale is local, I use Adnams, and the breadcrumbs are sourdough; a bit pricy but then this is not a cheap pudding either. It’s your choice if you want to use whole or flaked almonds.
This recipe serves 4 people and fills one 1L pudding basin. Make the pudding at least 4 weeks in advance and feed it with one tablespoon of brandy each week (it’s never too late, two weeks will be fine, don’t forget to feed it!). This will keep the pudding moist and the flavour will be outstanding. I guess this is perhaps the most labour intensive part of the pudding, feeding it. As we have to unwrap each pudding, give it a drink and cover them again, doing that four times with 100 puddings is a bit of a mammoth task but definitely time well spent.
Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Steamed Christmas Pudding
- 1 egg
- 1tbs dark rum
- 75ml Adnams real ale
- zest and juice of 1 orange
- 60g sourdough breadcrumbs
- 50g vegetable suet
- 2tbs strong bread flour
- 1tsp baking powder
- 1tsp mixed spice
- Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 115g dark brown sugar
- 50g sultanas
- 50g raisins
- 50g dried cranberries
- 100g currants
- 1tbs mixed peel
- 50g whole or flaked almonds
- 100g grated fresh apple and pear mixed, grated with skin on
- Brandy to mature
Crack the egg into a measuring jug with rum, ale, and orange juice; use a fork to mix it all together.
In a large mixing bowl weigh the remaining ingredients, add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix well.
Cover the mix and refrigerate for two days. I find leaving the mix to mature helps it develop a delicious flavour.
After two days of resting, grease a 1L pudding basin.
Stir the pudding mixture well and transfer to the prepared pudding basin leaving a 4cm gap from the top.
Cut a round piece of parchment to go on top of the pudding mixture and cover tightly with foil and tie with string.
Steam the pudding for 4 hours. Leave to cool at room temperature, while still warm spoon over 4 tbs of brandy, make small holes using a metal skewer and cover the pudding with fresh foil. Leave to mature for 4 weeks before using, feeding the pudding with 1 tbs of bandy each week after cooking.
This pudding will last well, the best is to make your Christmas pudding in August to allow it to mature well. Feed it 4 times with the brandy.
Serve with brandy butter and or brandy cream and plenty of fresh custard.
Serves 4/ 6
- 125g unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 125g icing sugar
- 2tbs good quality brandy
- seeds of one vanilla pod
Place the soft butter , vanilla seeds, brandy and icing sugar in a large mixing bowl and cream till smooth and well mixed. Taste and add a splash more brandy if you feel it needs it. Transfer to a serving dish and keep at room temperature to remain soft.
Makes 250g brandy butter