About this recipe:This slow cooker Christmas pudding recipe is the safest, easiest and most effective way to steam a pudding; a standard slow cooker will comfortably fit a 2L pudding bowl. A great addition to your Christmas menu, serve hot with lashings of brandy sauce.
In a bowl, combine the dried fruit, mixed peel, sugar and ground almonds. Pour over the brandy and leave to soak in the fridge overnight.
The next day, preheat the slow cooker to high and add boiling water to a depth of about 4cm. Cover and allow to come to a simmer.
Remove the fruit from the fridge and allow to come up to room temperature. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs with the stout then pour over the fruit and mix with your hands.
In a separate bowl, combine the flour, suet, breadcrumbs and spices and mix well. Gradually work into the pudding mixture, ensuring that there are no lumps or pockets of flour.
Grease a 2L ceramic pudding bowl. Cut out a circle of baking parchment to fit in the base of the bowl then place that inside and grease. Transfer the pudding mixture to the prepared pudding bowl and pat down to ensure that there are no air pockets.
Lay a large piece of tin foil on the counter top, then lay a piece of baking parchment on top of the foil. Make a 3cm wide pleat with the two sheets then place over the pudding bowl, tin foil on the outside, with the pleat crossing the middle of the bowl. Secure tightly with kitchen string around the rim of the bowl and then tie a sturdy string handle for ease of lifting the bowl in and out of the hot water. Trim any excess foil or baking parchment leaving about a 3cm overhang.
Ensure that the water in the slow cooker is simmering then lower the pudding bowl into the water, ensuring that the water comes only half way up the side of the bowl. Adjust if necessary. Cover.
Steam the pudding for 8 to 9 hours on high, topping up the water to the half way height when necessary.
Remove from the slow cooker and if making ahead allow to cool. Remove the foil and baking parchment and cover with fresh foil and parchment, again securing with string. Store in a cool dark place for up to a year. If using the same day, invert over a serving plate and serve.
To light the pudding:
If serving the same day, bring the 150ml brandy to a simmer in a saucepan over a high heat. Remove from the heat and transfer to a ladle. Carefully, light the brandy in the ladle and pour over the hot pudding. When the flames subside, the pudding is ready to eat.
A bit extra
I have made this pudding several years in a row now and it seems that sometimes I have extra mixture left over that won't fit in the 2L basin and I believe this is caused by the dried fruit's ability to swell overnight. If I have extra I just make a small additional pudding.