- 500g mixed dried fruit
- 100g stoned date or prunes, chopped
Dates are one of the oldest cultivated fruits - it's thought that they were a staple part of…
- 100g stem ginger, drained and chopped, plus 2 tbsp syrup
- zest and juice 2 oranges
One of the best-known citrus fruits, oranges aren't necessarily orange - some varieties are…
- 225ml Guinness
- a little butter, for greasing
Butter is made when lactic-acid producing bacteria are added to cream and churned to make an…
- 50g whole almond, roughly chopped
arr-mund or al-mund
Sweet almonds have a subtle fragrance that lends itself well to baking and also works well with…
- 200g suet
- 2 eating apple, grated
Grown in temperate regions, apples are one of the most widely cultivated tree fruits. There are…
- 100g dark muscovado sugar
- 5 tbsp black treacle
- 100g self-raising flour
- 85g soft white breadcrumb
- 100g ground almond
- 1 tbsp mixed spice
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- ½ tsp ground cloves
- 3 large egg
- brandy, to serve (optional)
Brandy is a distilled spirit made from virtually any fermented fruit or starchy vegetable.…
Mix together the dried fruit, ginger, orange zest and juice, and Guinness in a bowl. Cover and leave to soak overnight.
Grease 2 x 1.2-litre pudding basins. Boil a kettle of water. To prepare your steamers, put a snug-fitting upturned bowl or plate in the base of 2 large, deep saucepans, big enough to hold your pudding basins. Add the remaining ingredients (except brandy) to the fruit mixture and stir well, making sure there are no pockets of flour. Divide between your prepared basins and cover with buttered baking parchment and a foil lid. Tie with string to secure and make a handle for easy lifting.
Stand the puddings on the upturned bowls or plates in your saucepans. Pour in enough boiling water to come halfway up the sides of the basins, cover with a tight-fitting lid and steam for 6 hrs, topping up with water if necessary. If your lids start to rattle as the puddings cook, place a couple of heavy cans on top to hold them down. Once cooked, the puddings can mature for up to 1 year in a cool dark place, so if you only eat one this year, that’s fine.
To serve, reheat in a steamer for 1 hr until piping hot all the way through. Flame with brandy, if you like, as you bring it to the table.
Get ahead for Christmas by making this pudding on Stir-up Sunday. It's the last Sunday before Advent, is the traditional start of the Christmas season, and falls on 25 Nov in 2012. It is thought that the name originated from the collect for the day from the Book of Common Prayer, which begins: ‘Stir up, we beseech thee, O Lord…’ and unintentionally reminds churchgoers that it’s time to make the Christmas pudding!