I know it isn’t stir up Sunday until November 25th this year however, I wanted to get ahead a little with my puddings. Everyone in my household has a good stir of the pudding mixture and makes a wish. I still like to keep this tradition alive and I hope that their wishes do come true! I don’t put objects like thimbles or coins into my puddings but I’m sure somewhere this tradition carries on.
This is an old-fashioned Christmas pudding that is moist and full of Christmas cheer. This recipe has been in my family for many years having been originally handed down through an elderly friend. You’ll need to start the pudding mixture the night before to soak all the ingredients in brandy and Guinness. These puds will keep well stored in a cool dry place and come to maturity in time for Christmas.
Old fashioned Christmas Pudding
Makes 2 x 900g (2 lb) puddings or 4 x 450g (1 lb) puddings
350g (12 oz) sultanas
350g (12 oz) raisins
225g (8 oz) glace cherries, washed, dried and cut into pieces
225g (8 oz) soft brown sugar
½ tsp salt
1 cooking apple, grated unpeeled, excluding pips and core
1 grated carrot
Zest of lemon
Zest of orange
110g (4 oz) chopped almonds
½ tsp mixed spice
1 tbsp black treacle
½ glass of brandy
350ml (12 fl oz) Guinness
225g (8oz) breadcrumbs, white or brown
110g (4 oz) plain flour, sieved
225g (8 oz) suet
You will need pudding basin’s 2 x 900g (2 lb) or 4 x 450g (1 lb). Greaseproof paper, foil and string.
This mixture is started the night before to develop all the flavours before placing into pudding basins to steam.
In a very large bowl add the flour, spices, suet, breadcrumbs and sugar give a stir to mix them through. Tip in the fruit, zest, cherries, carrot and apple then stir well to mix. Add all the remaining ingredients beat until thoroughly combined. Leave the bowl in a cool place covered over with a tea towel overnight. Next day give the mixture another good stir and leave to one side while you prepare the pudding basins.
Grease your chosen size of pudding basins and fill each one three-quarters full. Cover with tops of the puddings with greased greaseproof paper. Cover over the tops with pleated foil in the middle of each basin. Tie securely down the coverings with string around the lip of the basin top.
Each pudding needs to be steamed in a steamer for 6 – 8 hours depending on size. Keep topping the steamer up with boiling water and don’t let it boil dry. Leave to cool completely before removing the coverings. Recover with fresh greased greaseproof paper, foil and string.
Store in a cool dry place.
Re-steam for 3 – 4 hours before serving and turn out onto a warm plate. You can warm 3 – 4 tbsp brandy pour over the pudding and set alight.
Serve with Brandy sauce, custard, rum butter or brandy butter.