Friday, 2 November 2012

Christmas Puddings!

I know I'm being a little bit premature this year, and we're a bit off 'Stir up Sunday' but my husband had his operation date through last week for the 9th of November.  This will render him pretty much out of action for the foreseeable so, I thought this could be one job I could get out of the way now, while he's here to help out elsewhere.  That was the theory behind it anyway...

I've used the same recipe for (I think) 5 years now, and with each year that goes by, I have to make more and more.  I usually make some for my daughter's Brownie group to sell at a local 'Victorian Day' at their cake stall, and I make some for myself, family and friends.

Some of us swap our wares, so I end up with pickles, chutneys and lovely floral table arrangements.  It would be nice if a few more people got involved that way, there's always so much pressure (financial and lack of time!) on people at Christmas, I'd sooner have something homemade from them, if it saves my time making it, and their money buying something.  I like the personal touch.

The fruity stuff soaking in cider and fruit juices.
Flour, breadcrumbs, brown sugar, suet, nuts, and the spices
Mix them all together, doesn't look very appealling though!
Now I have to watch this like a hawk all day so it doesn't boil dry... great!
The recipe:

This is for a large batch, I currently have two medium ones and four small (individual portion) cooking but there's still loads left to be going on with.

1500g Dried mixed fruit
100g Glace cherries, chopped
100g Dates, chopped
1 Cooking apple, peeled, cored and finely chopped
Zest and juice of an orange
Zest and juice of a lemon
500 ml Cider (I used a good quality apple Cider)
*optional - 75g of Candied peel - if you're using bags of mixed fruit, this is already in

165g Self raising flour
3 tsp Mixed spice
4 tsp Cinnamon
330g Shredded Suet
330g Soft dark sugar
330g White breadcrumbs
25g Flaked almonds
25g Pecans, chopped
25g Walnuts, chopped
6 eggs, beaten

Put the fruit and zests in a large mixing bowl, squeeze over the lemon and orange juices and then add the cider.  Stir well, and cover.  I stir this often to make sure the fruit really absorbs the cider.  Leave overnight if possible.

In another large bowl, put the flour, spices, suet, sugar, breadcrumbs and nuts.  Mix well.

Pour the fruit mixture into the dried mixture.  This is where you really have to give it some mixing, to make sure everything is well combined.  When it is, add the beaten eggs, stirring as you go, making sure everything is well mixed in and there's no dry bits left.

Grease your basins or bowls with butter, and fill with the pudding mixture.  Cover the top of the puddings with a double layer of greaseproof paper.  Then tightly wrap the basins in foil.

I steam my puddings in a steamer, and I can't really give a specific time, because they're all different sizes.  It's a case of initiative and common sense, the larger ones can take between 6 - 8 hours, the smaller ones between 4 - 6 hours.

Off to check the steamer again :-/


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