How to Make a Classic Christmas Pudding
The humble Christmas pudding is guaranteed to be a hit at the Christmas dinner table
- 450g mixed dried fruit
- 25g mixed candied fruit peel, finely chopped
- 1 small cooking apple, peeled, cored, and finely chopped
- 1 tbsp orange zest
- 1/2 tbsp lemon zest
- 2 tbsp fresh orange juice
- 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 cup brandy
- 55g self-raising flour, sifted
- 1 tsp ground mixed spice
- 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 110g shredded beef or vegetarian suet
- 110g dark brown sugar
- 110g fresh breadcrumbs
- 2 large free-range eggs
First, prepare the lemon and orange zest by finely grating both fruits separately, until you have one tablespoon of orange zest and ½ tablespoon of lemon zest.
Cut both fruits in half and place them in the microwave for approximately 30 seconds so that the juice can be easily squeezed and a higher juice yield is achieved. Separately squeeze both fruits until you have two tablespoons of fresh orange juice and one tablespoon of fresh lemon juice.
Carefully peel and core the cooking apple, before finely chopping the apple and candied fruit peel. Place the dried fruit, candied peel, apple, orange zest, orange juice, lemon zest, lemon juice and brandy into a large mixing bowl and stir until all ingredients are mixed evenly. Next, cover the mixture with cling film and leave it at room temperature overnight, until the dried fruit expands and becomes plump.
Take two large free-range eggs and crack them into a separate small bowl, one at a time. Cracking the eggs separately will stop you from accidentally adding bad eggs to your mixture and spoiling it. It also makes it easier to remove any pieces of shell, should they accidentally fall into the bowl.
Remove the cling film and add the eggs, flour, spices, suet, breadcrumbs and sugar into the mixing bowl. Mix well with a wooden spoon until the mixture becomes thick and firm. Gently pour the mixture into a two and a half pint pudding basin, ensuring that it is spread evenly.
Generously wrap the pudding basin with cling film and place it into a steamer.
Then, steam the mixture for approximately seven to eight hours, ensuring that it is soft but firm to the touch, and leave the pudding to chill at room temperature for a couple of hours.
If you wish to serve the pudding at a later date, it can be stored for up to a month in the fridge. Simply leave the pudding inside the basin, ensuring that it is still wrapped tightly in cling film. Alternatively, the pudding can be frozen in small portions wrapped in clingfilm for up to three months. If frozen, leave the pudding to defrost before following the final steps.
When ready to serve, turn the Christmas Pudding out onto a plate and serve with your choice of brandy sauce or custard.
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