The Proof is in the Pudding
Fun for all the family
Something you can prepare weeks in advance and then put in the slow cooker Christmas day, get out when you are ready and take all the praise for a Christmas home – made feast.
The utensils you will need:
A large mixing bowl, a small mixing bowl, grater.
This mixture makes 2 pint sized puddings, give one away or I always try one pre – Christmas to make sure it all is okay, well that’s my excuse!
100g of flaked almonds
125g plain flower
2 teaspoons of mixed spice
1/2 teaspoon of ground ginger
1/4 grated nutmeg
175g vegetable suet
100g dark muscovado sugar
150g fresh bread crumbs
50g dried apricots
100g uncoloured glacier cherries
50g chopped candied peel
grated rind of 1 fresh lemon
grated rind of 1 fresh orange
1 large cooking apple – grated
50g chopped dates
3 large eggs – beaten
2 table spoons of brandy
1. Put the flaked almonds, plain flour mixed spice, ginger, grated nutmeg and suet in a bowl. Then place the sugar, breadcrumbs, dried apricots, glacier cherries and candid peel. Mix thoroughly. EVERYONE CAN GIVE A STIR!
2. Take a fresh orange and grate the skin into a small bowl, repeat with a lemon. Then take a large cooking apple and grate all of it except the core into the same bowl. Stir the ingredients together and tip into the large mixing bowl.
3. Stir thoroughly and then add the sultanas, raisins, chopped dates and currants.
This recipe is flexible so if there are other dried fruits you would like to substitute it should still work well.
Stir well again.
4. Beat 3 large eggs in the small bowl. Add these to the larger bowl and mix evenly. Add 250ml of Guinness, again mix evenly. Add 2 table spoons of brandy for that final Christmas taste. Then let all the family give that final last stir and make a WISH for a Happy Christmas 2015!
5. Lightly grease a pudding bowl with margarine, cut out a small circle of greaseproof or baking sheet and place in the bottom of the bowl. Then wrap a sheet of greaseproof around the bowl bring the sides up to the top, make a double fold and tie with string. Then cover the bowl with foil again folding at the top.
6. Place the wrapped puddings either in a saucepan with boiling water half way up the bowl and boil the water steaming the puddings for 4 hours. (DO NOT ALLOW TO BOIL DRY as the pudding will burn) OR place in a slow cooker half cover the bowl and steam for 6 hours.
7. Once the puddings are cooked, take from the pan – be careful as hot water tends to penetrate the coverings of the bowl. Unwrap the foil and greaseproof and allow to cool down. Once cool I like to add a little extra brandy by pricking the top with a fork and drizzling a teaspoon over, it all helps to preserve it.
If necessary the pudding can be kept now for several months, when you would like to eat simply steam in either a saucepan, steamer or slow cooker for four to five hours.
Serve as a flaming Christmas pudding by tipping a tablespoon of brandy over and then igniting or serve hot with brandy butter, fresh cream, custard, ice cream or crème fraiche.
How will I have time for this when I am busy Christmas shopping, looking after the family and perhaps keeping the house tidy for viewings you may ask? Truly the making of this is no more than measuring and stirring something that all the family can help with. In our house it is a family tradition that I hope will be passed on by our daughters and remain a happy memory of their childhood.
If you have your house on the market with Malcolms we can fit all our viewings around you and advise on presentation. However, remember when we take our Christmas decorations down in January we all think how bare everything looks. So Christmas might actually be a good time to make your house appear more enchanting and more homely, if there is snow in the garden you won’t even have to do the gardening!