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The perfect Christmas pudding

The perfect Christmas pudding should be dense, moist and oozing decadence, tasting of rich fruits and brandy. Making one does take time with at least 13 ingredients (to represent Christ and his disciples) to weigh, time to marinate and steaming which takes at least 7 hours. But, once made, put away in a cool, dry place, needs only a further hour steaming on the day itself.

Fortunately, it turns out that making a Christmas pudding is surprisingly easy. As long as you have a set of kitchen scales, a favourite mixing bowl and a timer, you can’t really go wrong… who would want a shop-bought pudding when it’s this easy …check out our full-proof Christmas Pudding recipe, you just can’t go wrong with it.

You will need: 

  • 100g soft prunes
  • 150g soft apricots
  • 100g cranberries
  • 150g sultanas
  • 3 tbsp brandy
  • Zest and juice of 2 oranges
  • 75g fresh white breadcrumbs
  • 75g plain flour
  • 2 tsp mixed spice
  • 50g almonds, chopped
  • 200g unrefined sugar
  • 100g butter
  • 2 larges eggs, beaten

 

To Make:

•    Generously butter 1 1.2 litre pudding basin and line the bottom with buttered foil. Chop the apricots and prunes into small pieces. Place these and the remaining fruits into a large bowl, pour over the brandy, orange juice and zest, mix well and cover with a tea towel. Leave overnight so that all the liquid is absorbed.

•    Tip the fruit into a large mixing bowl and add the remaining ingredients and beat until smooth. Spoon the mixture into the prepared pudding basin. Cover with a pleated piece of buttered foil (the fold in the foil allows for expansion) with the buttered side towards the pudding. Push the foil down around the edges of the basin and tie in place with kitchen string, to ensure no steam can escape.

•    Place the basin in a steamer above water or stand on a rack in a saucepan. Pour water into the pan so that it comes half way up the basin.

•    Bring to the boil, then lower the temperature and simmer for about 6 hrs. Remember to check the water level regularly as it will need to be topped up with hot water to prevent I from boiling dry.

•    Allow the pudding to cool completely, then discard the foil and replace with a new piece. Store in the fridge or freezer.

•    To re-heat on Christmas Day, steam or simmer in water for about 1.5 hours until piping hot. Serve with double cream or brandy butter… delicious!