Apparently it was Stir up Weekend this weekend. Did you know that? No, I didn't either so instead I have had a stir up Wednesday and my Christmas pudding is steaming away as I write. I have tried many recipes but never been particularly happy with any of them, most puds are too dark and rich for me and last year it turned out rather dry so decided to go back to an old recipe my ma used to use from her ancient Bero cook book which I still have. It is falling to pieces but I will never throw it away.
So here goes:
100g (4oz) self raising flour; pinch of salt; half a teaspoon of grated nutmeg and mixed spice respectively; 75g (3oz) shredded suet (you can get vegetarian suet too); 100g (4oz) sultanas; 100g(4oz) raisins; 100g(4oz) currants; 100g (4oz) soft brown sugar; 50g (2oz) mixed peel; grated rind of half lemon; two eggs; two tablespoons of brandy or whatever
Ok so that is the basic recipe but I made a few adjustments. I did not have any currants because I don't like them and find they make the pudding too black looking so instead I used 4oz of chopped dried apricots. Instead of the mixed peel I used 2oz of candied lemon peel and then just for the fun of it bunged in 1oz of cherries that I had about me.
So mix all the dry ingredients together. Add the eggs and I sloshed in some stout. I then put all this in a well greased pudding basin with a little bit of greaseproof paper at the bottom to prevent sticking. I covered it in greaseproof paper with a fold in it to allow for expansion as the pudding cooks.
Then the mixture went in my large saucepan standing on an upturned old saucer, poured boiling water in three quarters up the pudding basin and started to steam it. My cook book says it needs steaming for ten hours but this is a very old book and I don't think it is necessary for so long, cookers are better than they used to be. However, by the time I go to bed and turn the pudding off it will have steamed for eight. On Christmas Day it will need to be steamed for two hours. As my son in law bought a super duper electric steamer some time ago this is not going to be a problem.
Christmas Pudding is so easy to make. It is easier than a Victoria sponge. Just bung everything in, give it a stir and glug a bit of booze in and there you go.
Only do NOT do what I did earlier this evening. Settled down to watch Red 2, which is a hoot and Helen Mirren rocks, and forgot to top up the saucepan and I smelt burning. Shrieked, shot through and caught the pan in time, boiled up some more water and filled it up. If you decide to steam your pudding this way you MUST top up the water on a regular basis. I normally cook my pudding in the oven by creating a bain marie but sometimes that is not satisfactory so decided to do it the old fashioned way this time.
Only problem with that of course is the condensation which is a pain and so I opened my kitchen window and then later on heard a crash and found one of my neighbour's cats had decided to see what was going on and ended up in the washing up bowl. He let out a yowl and shot out the window. Serves him right...
It is all go here I can tell you.