Fruity Christmas Pudding
|Mixed peel||50 Gram, chopped finely|
|Stout beer||150 Milliliter|
|Self raising flour||125 Gram|
|Shredded suet||125 Gram|
|Dark brown sugar||125 Gram, softened|
|Ground mixed spice||1 Teaspoon|
|Butter||1⁄2 Tablespoon (For greasing)|
|Brandy/Rum||1⁄2 Cup (8 tbs)|
This to be prepared the day before:
1)Put the raisins, currants, sultanas and mixed peel in a large clean bowl.
2)Stir in the stout, mix well, cover with cling film and leave in a cool place (not the fridge) overnight to allow the fruit to plump up on the day of cooking.
3)Sift the flour, mixed spice, nutmeg and pinch of salt together in a clean bowl.
4)Beat the two eggs together in a clean jug.
5)Grate the rind from the orange and half a lemon into a clean bowl. Squeeze the juice from the orange into the bowl.
6)Peel and core the apple and grate it into the bowl.
7)Use a touch of butter to grease a 2-pint pudding basin.
8)Cut a small circle of grease proof paper to fit the base of the basin. Grease this also and place in the base of the basin.
9)Cut out circles of grease proof paper and tin foil about 4 inches larger than the top of the pudding basin.
10)Grease one side of the grease proof paper. Weigh and measure all other ingredients.
11)Uncover the dried fruit mixture that has been marinating overnight. Using a large wooden spoon, gradually add the beaten eggs and stir well.
12)Next stir in the rind and juice of the orange and lemon and the apple. Next add the sugar and suet and mix well.
13)Add the flour mixture a tablespoon at a time and stir well. Now is the time to get all the family into the kitchen to give the pudding a stir while they each make a wish.
14)When everyone has had a stir and made a wish, spoon the mixture into the pudding basin to about 2cm from the brim to allow the pudding to rise.
15)Place the circle of grease proof paper on top with the greased side down. Make a pleat in the center of the paper, which will allow the pudding to expand.
16)Place the tin foil circle on top, also with a pleat. Tie tightly around the basin and trim off any excess paper and foil.
17)Finally, place a pudding cloth on top and tie this tightly around the basin. Bring the corners together to form a handle.
18)Chose a large saucepan with a tight-fitting lid and large enough to take the pudding basin. Fill the saucepan to around a third full with boiling water and place on the stove over a low heat so the water will continue at a gentle boil.
19)Carefully lower in the pudding. Place the lid on the saucepan and allow the pudding to gently boil for about 6–8 hours. The longer you boil it, the darker it may become. Make sure you keep an eye on the water in the saucepan – it will need topping up from time to time. Always use boiling water from the kettle for this purpose.
20)When the pudding is well cooked, remove from the saucepan and allow to cool. Remove the cloth, tin foil and greaseproof paper and allow the pudding to go completely cold. Re-cover with fresh grease proof, tin foil and a clean pudding cloth and store in a cool place (not a fridge) until the big day.
21)When the big day arrives, prepare your large saucepan once again with the boiling water and continue to cook the pudding for a further 2 hours.
22)After the turkey has been eaten and everyone is ready for the pudding, carefully remove from the saucepan. Remove all the coverings and turn the pudding out onto a large warm dish.
23)If you so wish, try to flame the pudding. Pour a little brandy or rum into a small saucepan and heat it on top of the stove (an old, well-used milk saucepan would be ideal for heating the spirit). Turn off the lights and set fire to the spirit in the saucepan – it should burn with a lovely blue flame. Very carefully pour over the Christmas pudding. Bet people with be impressed! When the flame has died down you could add a sprig of holly before serving.