Saturday, December 26, 2020

Christmas Pudding

For years Mary has made this delicious, vegetarian Christmas pudding from an ancient Sainsbury Book of Puddings and Desserts by Carole Handslip, one of a brilliant series of small format hardbacks that Sainsbury published around 1980. You can make this diary free by substituting a vegetable fat, such as TREX, for the butter.

Christmas Pudding

175 g (6 oz) plain flour
2 teaspoons ground mixed spice
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
175 g (6 oz) fresh white breadcrumbs
175 g (6 oz) butter
175 g (6 oz) soft brown sugar
350 g (12 oz) sultanas
250 g (8 oz) raisins
250 g (8 oz) currants
75 g (3 oz) chopped mixed peel
grated rind and juice of 1 orange
2 eggs, beaten
120 ml (4 fl oz) brown ale

Sift the flour and spices into a bowl, add the breadcrumbs, then rub in the butter. Stir in the sugar, add the remaining ingredients and mix thoroughly.

Turn into a greased 1.75 litre (3 pint) pudding basin, cover with a pudding cloth or greaseproof paper and foil, and steam for 6 hours, topping up the pan with boiling water as necessary.

Cool slightly, then remove the cloth or paper and leave to cool completely. Cover with clean greaseproof paper and foil and store in a cool dry place.

To serve, steam the pudding again for 2 to 2 1/2 hours. Turn out onto a warmed serving dish. If liked, pour over 2 to 3 tablespoons warmed brandy and ignite. Top with a sprig of holly and serve with cream or Brandy Butter.

Serves 8 to 10

NOTE: Christmas Pudding improves with keeping as it allows the mixture to mature. If possible, make it 3 to 4 months before Christmas.

© Cathay Books 1980

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