Cookbook: AWW How to cook everything
I must confess: I didn’t actually make this in the Christmas week of the challenge. But I did make it after the challenge began, so that counts right? To make your Christmas puddings really work they need time to develop the flavour and darken, so the longer you leave it, the better they taste. The month I left it may not have been long enough, but really, its gonna have to do!
I love making christmas puddings… I have been making them since I was quite young, about 17 or so. I started after my nan died. She used to make the best puddings! And she would make them in August, so ours would be sitting in the laundry, strung up around the door handle for many months. Seeing it waiting there for so long really made me want it even more on Christmas day. Hers were always delicious, full of brandy and so so rich.
Mine, well… over the years I have had varying degrees of success. The first one I made after Nan died was probably the best, and the individual christmas puddings I made (so everyone could light their own on fire) was also a huge hit. The last 2 or 3 though havent been great. They havent held together, no matter how long I boiled them, and I think that came down to using too large a pudding tin. This year though, I had high hopes!
When I first took it off the boil I wasnt convinced though… it was a little mushy around the edges, but in the morning it had hardened up, so at the very least I knew that it wouldnt crumble on everyones plates this year.
One experiment that I think has paid off quite well though, is changing the liquor over to Cointreau. The orange liquor taste really enhances the fruitiness of the pudding in a way that brandy never did. Give it a go!
Steamed Christmas pudding
3 cups chopped mixed dried fruit
¾ cup finely chopped seeded dried dates
¾ cup finely chopped raisons
¾ cup water
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
100g butter chopped
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
2 eggs beaten lightly
¾ cup plain flour
¾ cup self raising flour
1 teaspoon mixed spice
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons dark rum
- Combine the fruit, water, sugar and butter in medium saucepan. Stir over medium heat until butter melts and sugar dissolves. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, simmer uncovered for 6 minutes. Stir in soda. Transfer mixture to a large bowl, cool to room temperature.
- Stir in eggs, sifted dry ingredients and rum.
- Grease 2 litre pudding steamer, spoon mixture into steamer. Top with pleated baking powder and foil to allow pudding to expand as it cooks. Secure with tight fitting lid.
- Place pudding in large boiler with enough boiling water to come halfway up side of the steamer. Cover with lid, boil for 4 hours, replenishing water level as necessary. Stand for 10 minutes before turning onto plate. Serve with cream, icecream or custard.
The verdict? SO GOOD! Such a great recipe and simple to do, full of flavour and it held together!!
For me though, this isnt so much about the pudding itself, each year I make the pudding as a way of remembering my Nan. It can fall apart, not light on fire (mum always gets the cheap brandy!), just not be quite right, or perfect, but it always makes us remember Nan and her puddings.