Christmas pudding

Christmas pudding
feeling festive

GD and I went and brought our winter slippers yesterday and just in time too because today is freezing. Frost on the car window and crispy green leaves on the allotment weather. So ensconced in warm and festive slippers I set about to make the Christmas pudding. We made this pudding last year for the first time after watching Jamie Oliver’s Xmas DVD and even the “on no its Xmas pudding” lot had to eat their words because it really is a light and moist alternative to the heavy fruit ones of yesteryear. Seriously can not wait to set this alight on Christmas day.

I like to make little extra ones to share

Serves 8-10 people
1 teaspoon of softened butter for greasing
1 large free range egg
150 ml organic milk
400 g mix of currants, sultanas and raisins
100 g dried cherries and cranberries
125 g suet (I used vegetable suet, recipe also says butter can be used instead of suet)
125 g plain flour
125 g golden caster sugar
125 breadcrumbs
125 dates chopped up
2 tablespoons brandy
pinch of salt
zest of 1 orange
3 pieces stem ginger, the type you get in a jar
1 teaspoon ground ginger ( I also added a pinch or two of cinnamon,nutmeg and clove)

Rub a 1.5 litre pudding bowl with butter, in a separate bowl beat the egg and the milk together and set aside.
In a third bowl mix all of the other ingredients together. Add the egg mixture and combine the ingredients using your hands.

2 hours in 1 left to go

Spoon the mixture into the greased pudding bowl and cover with a layer of buttered  greaseproof paper followed by a double layer of aluminium foil, (or you could use a clean cloth) . Tie the layers in place round the rim of the bowl using a piece of string.
Place the bowl in a large saucepan and pour cold water into the pan until it comes halfway up the side of the bowl. Bring the water to boil, then cover with a lid and simmer for 3 hours.

Check the water regularly making sure it does not boil dry and top up when necessary (and it will need topping up) or the pan will burn and the bowl will crack.
To serve remove the foil or the cloth and turn out onto a plate. Cover with a splash of brandy or rum and taking care i.e. remove flammables like Christmas cracker papers and Yes we did set some alight last year, and ignite your pud!.  Serve with whipped cream, ice cream or brandy custard.
Because I am making mine now I will need to wrap it well when completely cooled with fresh parchment paper and a double later of foil or if trying not to use foil in an air tight container and store in a cool place preferably dark and out of the sunlight and then on the day just steam the pudding about an hour before serving or until warmed through. 

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