Monday, 30 December 2013

Christmas pudding

This is my version of a Dan Lepard recipe that appeared in the newspaper the week after my daughter was born - Stir up Sunday as it is called in England. We'd never made a christmas pudding before, but it has now become family tradition.  It's ideally suited to being at home with a baby because you just add all the ingredients gradually to a big bowl, then steam for ages - as long as you don't need to go out, you're fine.  Nowadays I usually steam it in a slow cooker overnight, but above is a picture of last year's pudding on the stove top.

200g raisins
150g candied fruit peel 
50 g dried or candied cherries
75g beef suet
200g dark brown muscovado sugar
100g treacle
125g brown bread crumbs
50g plain white flour
½ tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp ground allspice
1 tsp grated nutmeg 
2 eggs, beaten
50g grated carrot (about one medium carrot) 
Zest and juice of an orange
125ml dark ale

After mixing all the ingredients together, simply spoon into a buttered pudding basin, cover with parchment and foil, tie string around (or just use a plastic basin with lid), and steam for 4 hours, or over night in a slow cooker. The original recipe called for the wrong size bowl, and we've never figure out what size it is supposed to be.  We usually make either two large puddings or 3 small ones. 

Never having made a pudding before, the whole pudding basin, foil and string thing is definitely the worst bit for me - and worrying that I've done something wring and it will go mouldy. But every year it turns out just fine.  A very forgiving cooking style.

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