Christmas Pudding

Christmas wouldn't seem Christmas without Christmas pudding. You will need to prepare this pudding at least 2 weeks in advance but is best left for 1 month.

Christmas Pudding

Portions: 6-8 portions

Preparation: 30 minutes

Cooking: 5-6 hours

Ingredients

Fruit

  • 200g sultanas
  • 200g currants
  • 200g raisins
  • 200ml stout beer
  • 100g blanched almonds, chopped
  • Juice and zest of 1 orange juice and zest
  • 1 medium apple, grated
  • 1 medium carrot, peeled and grated

Pudding

  • 180g butter
  • 200g brown sugar
  • 1 tsp grated nutmeg
  • 150g self raising flour
  • 100g white bread crumbs
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 100ml cointreau

Method

  1. Fruit: Place the sultanas, currants and raisins in a bowl and pour in the beer. Cover it and leave it to stand over night. Add the almonds, apple and carrot to the sultana mixture.
  2. Pudding: Place the butter and sugar in a bowl and beat them together until smooth and creamy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, and mix it until well combined. Fold the flour into the creamed butter mixture. Then stir in the breadcrumbs, fruit mixture, orange juice and zest and the cointreau and mix until well distributed (make a wish while you mix and get anyone else in the home to have a go).
  3. To Cook: Spoon the mixture in a well oiled 1.5-1.8 pudding basin, making sure you leave at least 3cm from the top. Place 2 discs of grease proof paper over the mixture. Cover the pudding bowl with 2 layers of foil and secure it round the top of the bowl with string. Place the pudding in a large saucepan and pour boiling water around it so that it comes two thirds of the up. bring the water to barely a simmer and place a lid over it. Leave the pudding to cook for 5-6 hours adding more water as necessary. the pudding is cooked when it has risen and is firm.
  4. Remove the pudding from the pan and remove the foil from it. Leave it cool. Remove the grease proof paper and replace it with fresh grease proof paper and foil around the pudding bowl. Store it in the refrigerator for at least 2 weeks and up to 6 months.
  5. To Reheat: Place the pudding in a saucepan and add boiling water to it so that it comes 2/3s of the way up, cover it and steam for 2-3 hours.
  6. To Serve: Turn the pudding out and serve wedges of it with brandy butter (see recipe), cream, ice cream or custard (see cointreau custard recipe).