Di’s Steamed Christmas pudding
Really moist and full of fruity goodness with a great mix of spices, this is a Christmas pudding that really works!
You will need a 7-8 cup pudding bowl or two 4 cup bowls for two smaller puddings. Grease the bowl(s) and line base with non-stick baking paper.
50g dates, diced
50g prunes, diced
60g mixed peel
70g glacé cherries and glacé ginger combined
125g blanched almonds, chopped
100ml brandy (or more if you like)
250g unsalted butter, softened
4 eggs, beaten
1¼ cups brown sugar
1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, coarsely grated
1 orange, juice and finely grated rind
1 cup plain flour, sifted
2 cups day-old coarse white breadcrumbs
½ teaspoon each ground nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger and cloves
Place all the dried and glacé fruit and nuts in a large bowl. Pour over brandy, cover and leave to macerate overnight (or longer if you have the time; 2-3 days adds depth of flavour).
Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy then add the orange rind. Add flour and spices to the mixture alternating with the eggs. Stir in the breadcrumbs, orange juice, grated apple and the soaked fruit.
Spoon the mixture into prepared bowl(s). Cover with a double thickness of baking paper but put a pleat in the centre to allow for rising. Tie firmly with kitchen string, leaving enough string to make a handle.
Bring a large pot of water to the boil – with enough water to reach half-way up the side of the pudding bowl. Carefully lower pudding into boiling water onto a trivet or upturned saucer and steam, covered, for 6 hours (less time needed if making two smaller puddings in two pots). Check water level occasionally and top up if necessary – don’t allow to boil dry.
Remove from water and cool. Cover with fresh baking paper and string. Store in an airtight container until ready to use – pudding should keep well for a few months.
To reheat pudding, steam again for 2½ hours, or heat on medium in microwave oven for about 10 minutes. Upturn onto a warmed plate. Heat a tablespoon of brandy, pour over pudding and light.
Slice and serve with hot brandy custard or cream.
- Any leftover portions can be wrapped in cling film and frozen until required, then reheated. Or slices can be chopped and mixed with a good quality vanilla ice cream and a little extra brandy to make a special frozen treat.