I have hung up my Christmas decorations and so far Bella, my naughty cat, has only chased a few of them, hopefully they will survive to Christmas Eve. One of my favourite recipes for my Christmas dinner is my English/Scottish grandmother’s Christmas pudding which comes from the 1700s. When my mother made our pudding it was traditional for each one of the family to take a turn stirring the pudding and to make a wish. We always had little gifts or sixpences wrapped in foil and hiddden in the pudding. I was exchanging emails with my sisters in England and Singapore for this recipe – apart from a glass of cognac the pudding also includes carrots and potatoes and has to be steamed for hours, I asked if I could microwave it but was told there is a danger of it exploding – so I decided I did not need to be cleaning pudding off the ceiling and made it the traditional way in a muslin cloth tied up in a ball.
- 115g Flour plus extra flour for the inside of the pudding cloth
- 115ml grated unsalted butter or beef suet
- 115g Sultanas
- 115g Seeded raisins
- 115g Currants
- 115g Mixed peel
- 115g Carrot raw and grated
- 115g Brown sugar
- 115g peeled raw potato grated
- Grated rind of lemon
- 60g shelled coarsely chopped almonds
- ½ teaspoonful grated nutmeg
- ½ teaspoonful grated cinnamon
- ½ teaspoonful mixed spice
- 250ml French brandy (Cognac) from the French market shop (125ml for ingredienst and 125 ml to flame the pudding prior to serving
- 1 muslin pudding cloth or pudding bowl
I recommend pairing with an excellent Cognac or a Sauternes from the French Market shop
- Peel and grate potatoes and carrotts
- Grate the rind of the lemon
- Grate the butter or suet
- Mix all the ingredients together with a large wooden spoon
- Ask each member of the family to take a turn stirring and to make a wish
- If using a pudding cloth, to stop the pudding from sticking, grease one side of the cloth then sprinkle with flour
- Put the pudding mixture in the pudding cloth and tie tightly into into a round ball or grease a pudding basin and turn the mixture into the basin, cover with grease proof paper. The paper must overlap the edges of the bowl so that you can tie string around it
- Place in a saucepan of boiling water and steam for 3 hours.
- Turn out of the cloth or bowl and put on a flat heat proof dish.
- If you are hiding little token gifts or coins in the base of the pudding, boil them first then wrap them in foil before inserting in the base of the pudding
- To serve, pour warm brandy over the hot pudding and carefully light the brandy, it will burn for a short while.
- Serve with fresh cream or brandy butter.
I recommend pairing this fragrant pudding with a sweet wine such as a Sauternes or a Cognac.