At the risk of putting some of you off of me rapidly can I just say that I did leave this post until we were in December, which is more than happens for the actual making of the Christmas pudding which is always made on Stir Up Sunday in November and is the last Sunday before Advent. I took a quick peek at Wiki and apparently 2/3rds of British children have never stirred a Christmas Pudding so I do exactly as my Mum did (and it’s the same bowl) and we all have to be in the house when then pudding is made. The children do most of the making and then comes the stirring and wishing part. Hopefully this is building lovely memories for them but I can probably say that the sheer volume of chocolate orange on Christmas morning is probably what builds the memories over Christmas. Still, I shall continue. I wanted to tell you about this as there is still time to make it before Christmas and you just leave it in a cool place until Christmas Day.
I used to always made a traditional Christmas Pudding but a few years ago I came across a Nigella recipe for her Nonconformist Christmas Pudding. A traditional one was ok, but was too heavy and we rarely wanted it after Christmas lunch and then it was forgotten about. This one is much lighter and a complete alternative. It also doesn’t have suet so vegetarian’s will be happy. A Chef one said it was the best Christmas pudding he had ever eaten and my in-laws tell me that it was lovely cold with cheese on Boxing Day. So, whatever floats your boat folks. I always chop and change this recipe a bit, normally with the fruit or what type of booze is used so do what you like to suit you.
My food processor broke while I was doing this so most of it was hand chopped – pssst, it’s on my christmas list Mr K…
- 300g dried figs
- 175g dried cranberries
- 225g currants
- 150ml brandy
- 175g unsalted butter
- 100g breadcrumbs
- 100g ground almonds
- 50g cocoa
- 100g plain flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 150g dark soft brown sugar
- 3 small eating apples
- 3 large eggs
- 142ml pot sour cream
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp cardamom
- 175g dried blueberries
Butter a 2.5 litre pudding basin.
Chop figs in a processor and put in a pan with cranberries, currants and brandy. Bring to boil and simmer for 10 minutes. Spoon butter on top of fruit and put lid on, leave it to simmer for another 10 minutes and the butter to melt into it.
Measure breadcrumbs, almonds, cocoa, flour, baking powder, bicarb and sugar into a bowl.
Quarter and core apples and thrown them into the processor (no need to clean it between blends). Add them to dry ingredients and then add the dried fruit and butter – now your entire house will smell like Christmas.
Break eggs into a bowl, add sour cream, vanilla and spices – you can do this in the blender again to save on washing up and throw into the bowl with everything else.
Mix all of this together with a wooden spoon once you have put the coins into the mix (we have one coin per person for our family and each throws their own in), each person must take a turn to mix it and make a wish.
Steam this over a pan of water for about 2 hours – my pan isn’t big enough so I put a lid on and wrap the sides in foil but check the water hasn’t boiled dry and top up when it needs it.
You can then store this, covered, in the fridge until Christmas when I steam this for another couple of hours – but steam it for as long as you like, as long as the water isn’t boiling dry it really doesn’t matter.
Then turn it out onto a large serving plate, douse liberally with more booze, vodka is used in our house, set light to it and present to the table. I always always serve this with Cornish clotted cream and homemade brandy butter – hmmm, I’m sure I said this wasn’t rich!
Sorry, no pic of the finished pudding, it’s happily sitting in the fridge awaiting it’s unveiling!