Traditional Christmas Pudding
and Aunty Beryls Christmas Pud
125g (5oz ) Sultanas.
125g (5oz) Currants.
125g (5oz) Rasins (seedless).
125g (5oz) Dried plums.
100g (4oz) Cut mixed peel (optional but increase other fruit to maintain total fruit weight)
125g (5oz) Suet (animal or vegetarian)
125g (5oz) Bread Crumbs.
100g (4oz) Plain flour.
200g (8oz) Soft dark brown sugar.
125ml (5oz) Milk (1/4 pint).
Melted butter for greasing.
This recipe will make
2 x 1pint (1/2 Ltr) 42mm x 8mm
1 x 2 pint (1 Ltr) Puddings 60mm x 10mm
1/2 teaspoon mixed spice.
1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg.
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
good pinch salt.
3 Large eggs.
Zest and juice of 1 lemon.
Zest and juice of 1 orange.
5 Tablespoons of Stout (Guinness)
Wine glass of Brandy.
30g (1oz) chopped almonds (optional)
You will need:
Scales, 1 Large mixing bowl, 3 containers/bowls.
Grater, measuring jug, wash brush, Baking foil,
String, wooden or rigid plastic mixing spoon.
Appropriate size saucepans.
2 x 1pint or 1 x 2pint pudding basins.
Note: Rum,Sherry, whiskey or any other spirt of your choice can be used in place of or in addition to the Brandy. Do not be tempted to put too much spirit in, otherwise the other delicate flavours will be lost.
The given amounts of dried fruit can be varied according to taste but total amount must add up to 600g (24oz) e.g. omit the mixed peel and increase the other fruits by 25g (1oz).
- Weigh all the fruit and place in a suitable container .
- Into this grate the zest and juice from the lemon and the orange. ( the zest is the outer skin which contains the essential oils that will add to the flavour, do not grate too much off otherwise you will be adding the pith, the white part between the skin and the flesh)
- Add the spirits of your choice,if any and mix together thoroughly. Put to one side.(ideally over night)
- Beat the eggs together in a separate bowl and to this add the Stout and milk and stir until evenly mixed.
- Sift the flour, salt, mixed spice, ground ginger, and ground nutmeg together into a large mixing bowl.
- Add to this ,the sugar, bread-crumbs, suet and mix together thoroughly.
- Then add the mixed fruit and mix thoroughly all together until evenly mixed making sure any liquids in the bottom of the bowl are added.
- Finally add the egg, stout, and milk mixture and continue stirring until evenly mixed.
- When mixed, cover with greaseproof or cling film and leave in a cool place or refrigerator for at least 24 hrs. This allows the mix to macerate.
- After this period of standing, give the ingredients another good stir. You should notice that the mixture has become a lot firmer and could be quite stiff, this is ok, do not be tempted to add more liquid.
- Have ready 1 x 2pint basin or 2 x 1pint basin well greased with melted butter.
- Place all the mixture into the 2 pint basin or divide equally into 2 and place into the 1 pint basins. The mixture should ideally form a dome in the basin rather than level or sunken. This helps to ensure, that any moisture, getting in whilst steaming, does not collect and make it soggy on the top.
- Place two discs of buttered greaseproof paper on the top of the mixing in the basin and then wrap the top of the basin in tin foil to ensure that moisture does not come in contact with the mixing during steaming (pic 2,3,4 below ).To do this Take a square of baking foil at least 8mm wider than the diameter of the basin and form a crease across the middle, this is to allow for any expansion of the pudding during steaming. Place over the basin and fold the sides down to form a lid , you may need to tie with string to ensure a good fit so as the steam does not come in direct contact with the pudding. see illustration below .
- The puddings need to be steamed for at least 5 hours. This can be done in a steamer if you have a suitable size steamer however a simple arrangement of steaming in a saucepan on top of the stove is just as convenient and efficient.
- To steam the puddings in a saucepan-------- The puddings need to be kept off the bottom of the pan so as to avoid direct contact with the heat, the principal of steaming is that it is cooked in a temperature of 100C. if the basin were to rest directly on the base of the pan the temp would exceed this and produce a hard crust in that area which when turned out will be the top of the pudding. So a some form of a TRIVET is needed ------- There are a number of ways this can be achieved (a) Place an upturned saucer or plate in the bottom of the pan , we recommend that you do not use your best crockery.------(b) If you have a pressure cooker with a perforated base insert this is ideal ,you can if wish cook in a pressure cooker but please follow the makers instructions, if any, on cooking a Christmas pudding. We personally think that a pudding steamed in the traditional way is more superior to that of a pudding cooked under pressure (in our opinion).----- (c) This is the method that we use,(pic 1 below) using a length of baking foil twisted to form a "rope" of foil which can then be formed into an appropriate sized ring to allow the basin to sit in. This will ensure that the water will be able to come between the base of the pudding and the bottom of the pan so avoiding direct heat
- Place the prepared basin(s) into the pan with your "trivet"in place and carefully add cold water to about 20mm from the top of the basin. Do not over fill or the water will bubble into the pudding. Place the pan, covered with a lid, on the stove and gently bring the water to a boil. When boiling reduce the heat to a slow simmer for at least 5 hours. You will need to check the water levels regularly and top up with boiling water. Take great care to avoid any water getting in the puddings and to avoid personal accidents.
Pictured above: foil trivet, Forming crease in lid, Foil lid in place, tied to form handle, basin placed on trivet.
After steaming, allow the puddings to remain in the pan until the water has cooled right down. This will allow the puddings time to "set" before handling. It is possible to move them before but take great care not to burn yourself and make sure the puddings are not knocked in any way.
When completely cold, wipe any moisture from the outside with a dry cloth and with the foil lid still in place wrap in either cling film or grease proof paper, we prefer the grease proof, and then overwrap in baking foil and store in a cool dry place to mature.
Remove storage wrapping and recover with baking foil, re steam for about 1 hour or , remove the foil and microwave for approx 4 minutes or until hot , do not over heat.
Alternatively, cut the cold pudding into appropriate sized portions,place on dish/plate and microwave individually for approx 1 min.
There is nothing more traditional, or rewarding, than serving a "flamed" Christmas Pudding to the table.
After re heating the pudding, carefully turn out onto a suitable serving dish, idealy one with a raised rim so as to catch any of the surplus spirits.
The easiest way is to take it to the table, pour Brandy over the hot pudding, do not drown it and set light to it.
However for a more spectacular effect, warm some brandy in a sauce pan on the stove, pour the warmed brandy over the pudding and then set light to it, then carefully carry it to the table whilst it is still burning.
As an alternative to steaming this product can be Microwaved, however it requires the addition of 1 teaspoon of Cocoa powder and 1 tablespoon of Black treacle in the mixing.
Cover the basins with microwavable cling film not foil and puncture to avoid ballooning in the microwave. Cook each pudding for 6 minutes on full power or according to makers instructions.
Store and reheat as for the traditional steaming method.
Aunty Beryls Christmas Pud
Below is a very old and traditional pudding. The thing about this particular pud is that it does not need to stand and mature for a number of weeks so it can be made in the last few days in the run up to Christmas. It can, however, be kept in a fridge for up to 4 weeks if required.
4oz plain flour.
4oz grated carrot
1 Dessert spoon black treacle
3oz fresh breadcrumbs.
1dessert spoon grated apple
Half tsp mixed spice.
2 eggs (beaten)
About half pint milk (300ml)
1oz candied peel (optional but increase other fruit instead)
Quarter tsp nutmeg
4oz Demerara sugar
Quarter tsp bicarbonate
Mix all dry ingredients add the rest and enough milk to dropping consistency
Pour into greased bowl steam 4hrs. (Can be kept up to 4 weeks in fridge)
On the day steam for 2hrs or microwave for approx 4 minutes or until hot , do not over heat.
Alternatively, cut the cold pudding into appropriate sized portions,place on dish/plate and microwave individually for approx 1 min. (following makers instructions/recommendations)