Great Grandma’s Christmas Pudding Recipe
Preparation time 30 minutes, plus stirring and steaming, Makes 2 puddings
½ lb/225g suet (vegetarian suet for those who prefer it)
½ lb/225g currants
½ lb/225g granulated sugar
½ lb/225g sultanas
5oz/140g self raising flour
1 large cooking apple, peeled, cored and grated
1 large carrot, peeled and grated
3 large eggs
Zest and juice of 1 large lemon
A good rub of grated nutmeg
½ tsp mixed spice
A pinch of salt
½ pint/300ml Guinness or other strong beer
2 tbsp brandy
Mixing the pudding is best done in a very large bowl. Something like a jam pan would be ideal as you need plenty of room to stir everything in. Place all the ingredients in the bowl and mix, making sure that everyone in the house has a stir and makes a wish. Cover with a tea towel and leave in a cool place for 24 hours to allow the flavours to develop.
Spoon the mixture into two pudding basins and cover the top with a double layer of greaseproof paper and foil, folded tightly to seal. Tie string round the top rim of the basin and over the top to make a handle so that the pudding can be lifted out of the pan easily.
The puddings will need to be boiled for at least 7 hours each but this can be done in stages, whenever you have time. Just keep the pudding in the fridge in between cooking sessions. Place the pudding in a saucepan quarter filled with water or in a sealed steamer above a pan of water. Remember to put your kitchen timer on to remind you to check the level of water in the pan every half hour so that the water doesn’t run out and the pudding burn as this would be a waste of all your hard work. The pudding should be a dark brown colour when cooked.
Thepuddings will keep for at least a year in a fridge so you can save one for next year. When you are ready to eat the pudding, heat in a pan of water (as above) for an hour to ensure that the pudding is warmed through. To serve, remove the greaseproof paper and foil cover and slide a knife around the edge of the bowl. Place a plate on top of the bowl and invert holding both the plate and the bowl tightly. Decorate the pudding with a sprig of holly. To flambé, heat 1 tbsp of brandy in an old spoon over a flame. It will ignite so be ready to quickly tip over the pudding when it does and rush to the table so that your guests will see. Serve with brandy butter and brandy sauce!