Christmas Pudding

10oz currants
10oz sultanas
8oz raisins
10oz mixed peel, chopped
2 oz almonds, chopped
10oz plain flour
1 level tsp salt (optional)
½ level tsp cinnamon
1¼ level tsp mixed spice
4 eggs
6oz breadcrumbs
10oz soft brown sugar
8oz shredded suet
rind of 2 lemons
2tbs rum or brandy
½ pint stout or Guinness

Mix dry ingredients, add eggs rum/brandy and half of the stout. Leave overnight then add remainder of the stout. Make sure everyone has a stir and a wish before you put the mixture in two 1½ pint bowls. Then either:
(a) steam for at least 6 hours then turn out and wrap in greaseproof paper and foil when cool. On Christmas day, reheat for at least 2 hours, or
(b) cook in a pressure cooker, steaming for about 30 minutes without the weights then 3 hours at pressure. Reheat at pressure for about 30 minutes (or check your own pressure cooker instructions), or
(c) with an Aga, place in pan with water half way up the sides, bring to boil and simmer for 30 minutes, then transfer pan to simmering oven  for 12 hours or overnight. Reheat by bringing to boil and simmering for 30 minutes, then transfer to simmering oven for about 2 hours
(d) a microwave can be used to reheat the puddings but I have never tried it; check your instruction book for details

I have used this recipe for many years  and it was the one my mother used when I was last living at home although she says it just happened to be the most recent one at the time so it is not a recipe that has been passed down through several generations! I apologise for using solely the original imperial measurements – they can easily be converted by using 50g for every 2oz. The liquid refers to a UK pint. I usually halve the quantities and make smaller puddings if there are only the two of us for Christmas, and adjust the cooking times by guesswork and trial and error – it’s hard to overcook them, but see the note below:

In recent years I have found myself thinking that the puddings don’t taste as nice as I recall them doing, but other than sometimes using vegetable instead of beef suet I didn’t think I had done anything different, so assumed it was just one of those false memories you have as you get older. HOWEVER, after having cooked them in my pressure cooker for a number of years I didn’t this time, as I didn’t want to tie it up for over 3 hours, so I cooked the puddings in the Aga. I was amazed that the look, taste and texture was completely  different – darker, denser and fuller, just as I remembered – the result, I assume, of the much longer and less extreme cooking method. I therefore highly recommend methods (a) or (c).




4 Responses to Christmas Pudding

  1. Pingback: What is this life… | ramblinginthegarden

  2. Sally says:

    Oh my, you’re bringing back memories! First mincemeat and now steamed pudding, which my grandmother made. Do you make a sugar & butter sauce to put over it?

    • Cathy says:

      I like brandy butter, which I make with 3oz butter, 4 oz icing sugar, 2 oz ground almonds and 1tbs brandy), blended till smooth then hardened in the fridge.Yummy!

  3. Pingback: Productive With Produce | Rambling in the Garden

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