Get everything prepared. Chop
the almonds coarsely. Peel, core
and chop the apples. Sharpen your
knife and chop the candied peel.
(You can chop the almonds and
apples in a food processor, but the
peel must be done by hand.) Grate
three quarters of the nutmeg
(sounds a lot but it's correct). Mix all
the ingredients for the pudding,
except the butter, in a large bowl.
Holding the butter in its wrapper,
grate a quarter of it into the bowl,
then stir everything together.Repeat
until all the butter is grated, then stir
for 3-4 minutes - the mixture is ready when it subsides slightly after
each stir. Ask the family to stir too,
and get everyone to make a wish.
Generously butter two 1.2 litre/
2 pint bowls and put a disc of
greaseproof paper in the bottom of
each. Pack in the pudding mixture.
Cover with a double layer of
greaseproof paper or baking
parchment, pleating it to allow for
expansion, then tie with string
(keep the paper in place with a
rubber band while tying). Trim off
any excess paper.
Now stand each bowl on a large
sheet of foil and bring the edges up over the top, then put another sheet
of foil over the top and bring it down
underneath to make a double
package (this makes the puddings
watertight). Tie with more string, and
make a handle for easy lifting in and
out of the pan. Watch our video to see how to tie up a pudding correctly.
Boil or oven steam the puddings
for 8 hours, topping up with water
as necessary. Remove from the
pans and leave to cool overnight.
When cold, discard the messy
wrappings and re-wrap in spanking
new greaseproof or baking
parchment, foil and string. Store in a
cool, dry place until Christmas.
To make the brandy butter,
cream the butter with the orange
zest and sugar. Gradually beat in
the brandy or cognac and chopped
ginger. Put in a small bowl, fork the
top attractively and put in the fridge
to set. The butter will keep for a
week in the fridge, or it can be
frozen for up to 6 weeks.
On Christmas Day, boil or oven
steam for 1 hour. Unwrap and turn
out. To flame, warm 3-4 tbsp
brandy in a small pan, pour it over
the pudding and set light to it.
Recipe from Good Food Vegetarian Christmas magazine, December 2006