About this recipe:This is my granny's recipe for a traditional Christmas pudding. It's very rich, but despite this we all insist on having it after Christmas turkey. This recipe does take a lot of effort and it's best if you make it a month beforehand. It's still worth it. After all, Christmas comes but once a year! Don't forget, it's traditional (for luck) to get everyone in the household (who wants to!) to stir the pudding.
1 wineglass of brandy or rum, and more as needed
110g (4 oz) mixed peel
175g plain flour and
50g self-raising flour
225g butter or suet, chilled and grated
225g dark brown Demerara sugar
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
a pinch of salt
1 teaspoon allspice
2 apples, peeled and grated
110g (4 oz) slivered almonds
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Pour brandy or rum over dried fruit and soak for several days in fridge. Add more brandy to it if it begins to look dry.
Rub the fat (butter or suet) into the flour until it resembles breadcrumbs.
Add the sugar, eggs, vanilla, salt and allspice. Fold in the grated apple, soaked fruit, breadcrumbs and almonds.
Place mixture in a well-greased 1.2 litre (2 pint) pudding basin and cover top with greaseproof paper (or use a pudding cloth - see footnote).
Partially fill a large pot with boiling water. Place pot on cooker and bring to a steady boil. Place bowl in the pot (or suspend pudding in cloth over the pot). Water should reach about 2/3 of the way up the pudding. Keep adding more boiling water to make sure it doesn't boil dry. Steam for about 6 hours.
Leave the pudding somewhere cool and dry to mature till Christmas (at least 1 month is best).
When ready to serve, steam pudding for 2 hours. Before serving, let pudding stand out of the water for about half an hour before taking out of cloth or bowl. This will prevent it from crumbling. Serve with your choice of brandy butter, custard and/or ice cream!