Christmas Pudding

Like a lot of our previous recipes this started in the home of one of our cooks. Working from a Mrs. Beeton original, which had about half a ton of suet as it’s main ingredient, it was refined into this wonderful, very rich, but vegetarian version, more suited to our modern palate.

Ingredients

10oz (300g) bread crumbs (1 small loaf with the crusts cut off)
8oz (225g) muscovado sugar
12oz (350g) dried fruit
4oz (100g) margarine
1 level teaspoon mixed spice
1 level teaspoon ground cinnamon
good pinch of nutmeg (2 grates of a fresh nutmeg!)
2 level dessert spoons molasses
2 eggs (or 4 tablespoons sunflower oil for a vegan pudding)
juice from half a lemon
1 teaspoon of lime juice (optional)
½ wine glass rum or brandy or 10 drops rum essence

Method

  1. Mix all the dry ingredients together in a good size mixing bowl.
  2. Add the eggs and all the liquids.
  3. Stir the mixture well until thoroughly mixed and of an even colour. Don’t forget to make a wish as you stir it!
  4. Once mixed and wished over, put it in a pudding basin, cover with greaseproof paper or foil and bake for 2 hours at gas mark ,140°C, 275°F.
  5. If you can arrange to put the pudding basin into a larger oven proof container, with enough water to fill up the space between the two, and cover the whole thing with another layer of kitchen foil, the results will be even better, as you will have kept the moisture in the pudding.
  6. Rich puddings like this store very well if kept sealed in a cool place, or frozen and so were always made well in advance of Christmas and reheated. To reheat first allow to thaw naturally if frozen and then put the pudding, in its bowl, in a large pan of water. Cover and steam for ¾ to 1 hour. If possible stand the pudding basin on something heat proof, to keep it off the bottom of the pan - a jam jar lid will do. This will keep the heat spread evenly.

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