Saturday, November 17, 2012

Christmas Pudding

This rich Christmas pudding is remarkably similar to the one published in Vesta's Woman to Woman column in the Argus on 9 January 1929. My mother handed it down to me and I fondly imagined her mother had passed it down from her Scottish foremothers. Maybe she just read the Argus

Best made 7 to 14 days before required, my mother's recipe uses butter instead of suet and is flavoured with rum, sherry or whisky instead of the juice and rind of one lemon.

The recipe makes one large or three small puddings. I use a large aluminium steam pudding basin with clips but it can be boiled in a floured cloth.

Christmas Pudding

250g butter
250g brown sugar
5 eggs
250g sultanas
250g raisins
125g currants
60g dried figs
60g dates
60g maraschino cherries 
60g blanched almonds, chopped
3 tablespoons rum, sherry or whisky
180g plain flour
180g soft breadcrumbs
1 teaspoon mixed spice
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon bi-carbonate of soda

Macerate fruits (sultanas, raisins, currants, figs, dates, cherries) in rum, sherry or whisky; cover with clingwrap and refrigerate overnight; stir in chopped almonds.

In a large mixing bowl, beat butter until soft; add sugar and beat to a cream; add eggs one at a time and beat evenly through.

Add prepared fruits alternately with sifted flour, breadcrumbs, spices and soda.

Place the mixture in a greased basin, leaving about 5 cms at the top. Cover with two thicknesses of greased paper or tinfoil, tie securely and steam in a saucepan of water with the lid on. The water needs to be 1/3 to 1/2 way up the basin and should be checked and topped up when necessary. Boil for 4 hours and again for 2 hours on the day of reheating. Serves 10-12.

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