I know this is a bit late in the day to be posting about creating Christmas pudding, but this actually took a lot longer than expected...plus I'd like to add that this is a fantastic winter pudding in general so who says it had to be made and created just for Christmas?
First things first make sure you have time to do this, I suggest starting first thing in the morning and do it on a day you're going to be in the house. I did this on a Sunday as I knew I wouldn't be going anywhere!
Off to the shops and this is what you will need...
- 150g/5oz each of currants, raisins, sultanas, ready-to-eat dates (chopped), ready-to-eat prunes (chopped)
1 carrot about 75g/3oz, peeled and grated
100ml/3½fl oz Grand Marnier
100ml 3½fl oz Guinness
Finely grated zest and juice of 1 orange
175g/ 6oz butter softened, plus extra for greasing
175g/6oz dark Muscovado sugar
3 medium eggs at room temperature, beaten
75g/3oz self raising flour sifted with 1 tablespoon ground mixed spice
150g/5oz crustless white breadcrumbs
75g/3oz blanched almonds, toasted and chopped
50g/2oz pecan nuts, toasted and chopped
2 circles of greaseproof paper Foil
A sprig of holly for decoration
After I'd collected all the items I put them out in front of me on the work top and started to create my pudding!
Take all the dried fruit (I suggest looking in tesco value areas as they can be much cheaper than branded) and put it into a bowl with the grated carrot, Grand Marnier (I used a whiskey but any is fine), Guinness and orange juice (which I also grated too). Stir well, cover and leave to soak for 1 hour. Grease two 1-litre/1¾ pint pudding basins with butter.
Life can really get in the way of enjoying being in your own home so sometimes just cooking can be all kinds of fun and a cheap way of keeping busy.
Next you need to cream together the butter, sugar and orange zest in a large bowl until it's pale and fluffy. Gradually beat in the eggs adding a little flour if the mixture starts to curdle.
The cooking bit takes the longest as you'll need around 8 hours. To cook each pudding: place in a steamer filled with simmering water and steam for 8 hours. Or, stand the basin on an upturned saucer in a large pan containing boiling water and boil for 6 hours. But this is a must... Remember to top up the water during cooking which is why you need to be be in during the time you're making your pudding.
Allow the puddings to cool, and then wrap tightly in foil and store in a cool dark place for at least a month (or up to 6 months) to mature. I didn't have time for this so I left it for a week and it tasted just as good.
Ta-da! You have your Christmas pudding creation and then just reheat and add a bit of cream... I suggest eggnog cream (tasty!).
So who says Christmas pudding is just for Christmas? Make it winter pudding!