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Monday, 3 December 2012

Christmas Pudding, sort of Delia Smith

My daughter asked me to blog all about Christmas, so that she can do it exactly like I do.  Sweet!  But hardly likely to happen!

I guess this is my recipe now that I have made all the additions, but it did start out as a Delia Smith recipe from her wonderful web site.  She has the best cookery web site around with recipes that really work, and a wonderful style that lets you know she loves cooking and is not just in it for the money.  You can access it by clicking here, but only if you have an hour to spare!  Its impossible not to get dragged in to marvel at the lovely photos and recipes.  All Delia's recipes work, and she is especially good for Christmas recipes when you want old fashioned recipes for the nostalgic Christmas season.  So her pudding recipe is a good place to start.

I added dates and apricots and changed her barley wine for Guinness.  It would not be Christmas if there wasn't Guinness in the pudding, half for the recipe and half for the chef!  That's me.  Hic!  Its best to start the day before and leave the mixture overnight to soak up the liquid.  This makes one 2lb pudding for Christmas and one nearly full 1lb pudding to eat before Christmas if you like, or to keep till New Year.  I cook it fully and re-heat it in the microwave, coz i just can't be doing with an extra saucepan on the hob that day.

Christmas Pudding

4oz/110g shredded suet, (beef or vegetarian) or frozen butter grated
2oz/50g self-raising flour
4oz/110g white breadcrumbs
1 teaspoon mixed spice
1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg
8oz/225g soft dark brown sugar
20oz/565g mixed dried fruit, any combination you like
2oz/50g chopped dates
2oz/50g chopped dried apricots
1oz/25g flaked almonds (or any other nut you fancy)
1 small Bramley apple, pealed and grated
grated zest of half an orange and half a lemon
5 fl oz/150 ml Guinness
Tablespoon of whiskey
2 large eggs

Take you largest bowl or a clean washing up basin and add everything one by one, ticking off your list to make sure you have not forgotten anything.  Mix everything together very thoroughly.  Invite everyone to have a stir and take a wish.  The mixture will be quite sloppy.  Cover the bowl and leave overnight.  You have enough work done today!

The next day, it will be less sloppy, and the liquid will have soaked into the breadcrumbs and dried fruit.

Fill your 2lb pudding bowl first, to almost the top and press down lightly.  Tip with a circle of silicone paper and seal with cling film.  Put the plastic lid on top and pop into your steamer, or directly into a pot with an upturned plate at the bottom.  The plate will keep the pudding off the direct heat, and fill the saucepan to half full with boiling water from the kettle and steam for 8 hours for the large one and 41/2 to 5 hours for the smaller one.

Watch the water does not boil away and keep topping it up as necessary. Then your pudding will be ready for Christmas day.  Store in a cool, dry place, away from light. 

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