Mum’s Christmas Pudding
makes 1 large, 2 medium or 3 small (570ml) puddings
Christmas pudding is not only a once a year treat but wonderful theatre when flamed with brandy and carried to the table with just ceremony. Heat a cup full of brancy in a small pan, light it and pour over the pudding in the kitchen. Put out the lights and carry it to the table. Everyone will be delighted!
This is my mother's recipe, it was my grandmother's too, it is plain and delicious. Make half quantity or give puddings as presents: nothing tastes better than homemade.
200 g currants
200 g sultanas
200 g raisins
150 g flour
1 level teaspoon mixed spice
1 level teaspoon mace
½ teaspoon cinnamon
200 g bread crumbs
200 g suet
50 g chopped almonds
50 g ground almonds
200 g muscovado sugar
200 g carrots, peeled and roughly grated
100 g mixed peel
500 ml brown ale
A glug of dark rum
Put the fruit in a large bowl and cover with boiling water. Stand for 5 minutes then drain in a colander and leave to drip until required.
Put all the dried ingredients in a bowl up to and including the sugar and mix well, then add the grated carrot, mixed peel and drained fruit and mix again.
Put the eggs, 300 ml of the brown ale and a glug of rum in a bowl, mix briefly and then pour over the other ingredients. Stir and stir, giving everyone in the house a chance to stir and tell them to make a wish. It may be necessary to add a little extra ale if the pudding mixture is too dry.
Grease the pudding basins; divide the mixture between the basins and cover with a double square of greaseproof paper and muslin. Tie up with string just below the rim and then take the four corners of the muslin and tie together. Stand the pudding basins on a trivet in a large pan. Add enough boiling water to come half way up the basins.
Cover the pan with a lid and bring back to the boil, then simmer over low heat for 4 - 8 hours depending on size, topping up the level of the water every hour.
Leave to cool then remove the greaseproof and muslin and replace with fresh. Store in a cool dark place until required.
When ready to eat, steam for 2 hours or microwave for 5 minutes.
Turn out onto a beautiful heat resistant dish. Put a teacup of brandy in a small pan and heat gently. When hot pour over the pudding, set light to it and carry to the table with great ceremony.