Freshpacs Christmas Pud Recipe!

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INGREDIENTS:

230g (8oz) raisins
50g (1 1/4oz) currants
75g (2 1/2oz) sultanas
50g (1 3/4oz) glace cherries
15g (1/2oz) flaked almonds
100ml (3 1/2fl oz) brandy
Zest of 1 orange and 1 lemon
Freshly squeezed juice of 1/2 orange and 1/2 lemon
50g (1 3/4oz) vegetable suet
30g (1oz) wholemeal breadcrumbs
50g (1 3/4oz) plain white flour
90g (3oz) light brown sugar
2g (1/2tsp) mixed spice
1g (1/4tsp) each of ground nutmeg, ground cinnamon, ground cloves
5g (1tsp) salt
2 medium eggs, beaten

METHOD

The day before, place all the dried fruits and flaked almonds in a bowl. Pour over the brandy and add the lemon and orange zest and juice. Mix together lightly. Cover with clingfilm and leave overnight.

Put all the remaining ingredients and the pre-soaked fruit in a large mixing bowl. Mix lightly with a wooden spoon, so as not to break up the fruit. Place a small disc of baking parchment in the base of a 1 1/2pt pudding basin and then fill it with the mixture. Smooth the top down evenly. Place another, larger disc of parchment on top. Cover the basin with foil and seal tightly.

Stand the filled pudding basin on a strip of foil long enough to make a handle (to help you lift the pudding out of the pan once it is steamed). Place the basin on top of a trivet in a deep-sided pan. Pour hot water into the pan, so it comes halfway up the pudding basin. Place a lid on the pan and bring back to the boil. Lower the heat and keep the water at a steady simmer. Steam the pudding for 5 hours. Check the level of water in the saucepan during cooking and top up if necessary.

Remove the pudding from the pan and allow it to cool completely. Remove the foil. Wrap the pudding basin in a piece of grease proof and a layer of foil. Store in a cool, dark place for at least 1 month to mature. The longer the better.

On Christmas Day, steam the pud for 2 hours in a pan of water, as before. Warm some brandy in a ladle until it ignites and pour over the pudding to flambe.

..AND ENJOY! With coffee flavoured liquor! ;)