Christmas Pudding

pud-2

Today is Christmas Pudding day!* I put the fruit to soak in the brandy about three weeks ago, and have been diligently shaking the mixture every night. I made sure I had all of the ingredients for the pudding last night, then mixed it up this morning.

He Who Eats All of Our Leftovers and Miss S both stirred the mixture, (apparently if everyone in the household has a stir, it is good luck for the coming year), then got it in the pot nice and early. Today had to be Christmas Pudding day, as the weather in Melbourne tomorrow is to be 32 degrees, much too hot to have a pudding steaming away for 6 hours.

My Christmas Pudding recipe has been adapted from Mum’s, which is an adaptation of a recipe from the 1968 Australian Women’s Weekly recipe.

5 Cups dried fruit

2 packets glace cherries (Mum left out the cherries last time she made Christmas Pudding and we all complained as if our throats had been cut. “What, no cherries?” “Mum, I didn’t get any cherries!” Etc…)

1 Cup brandy (Mum only uses a couple of teaspoons of sherry, but I splash in brandy until the mixture looks about right, so this might be a bit more than a cup. Anyway, use your own discretion about what type of and how much alcohol suits your taste).

Mum also uses mixed peel, but I would rather stab myself in the eye with a knitting needle than eat mixed peel on purpose. Put mixed peel in if you must, but don’t expect me to eat your pudding without complaining. You would have to ask Mum how much mixed peel she uses, as I am not going to ask her for you.

Place the dried fruit, cherries and brandy into a container with a tight lid, close the lid and shake it up. Give the fruit a shake every time you think of it for at least a few days. I put extra fruit in, as I have a taste every time I think of it too…

pudding

250 gm butter

2 Cups brown sugar (use white sugar if you want the pudding to taste like Mum’s)

4 eggs

1 Cup plain flour

4 Cups soft breadcrumbs (I use brown bread and Mum uses white. Mum says not to use the crust).

pinch of salt

1 teaspoon mixed spice (I used allspice this year as I didn’t have any mixed spice, don’t think it will matter).

1 teaspoon nutmeg

1 teaspoon cinnamon

Cream the butter and sugar. Don’t let any son-in-laws, not even your favourite Son-in-Law, near the electric beaters. My favourite son-in-law has a tendency to put knives too near to the blades for my peace of mind.

Mix in a tablespoon of the flour and some fruit. Stir the flour and fruit in, then mix the eggs in one at a time with a wooden spoon.

Mix in the remaining flour, nutmeg, mixed spice and cinnamon, fruit and breadcrumbs.

Make sure everyone in the house has a stir of the mixture to bring good luck to your household for the next year.

Line the pudding steamer with aluminium foil.

Pour the mixture into the steamer, then tie the lid on. Dad always ties the lid on for Mum, and says “Don’t let it get out,” when he gets to the difficult bits.

He Who Eats All of Our Leftovers ties the lid onto the pot for me and he does a good job of it, although he takes his duties more seriously than Dad and doesn’t joke about.

pud

Place the pudding into a larger pot, with water about half way up, and bring to the boil on the stove top, then turn down to a simmer. Top up with water every half hour. Cook for six hours.

Let the pudding cool down, then place the whole pot into a large container in a cool spot until Christmas (this is easier said than done in a hot Melbourne summer).

On Christmas Day, steam it for another two hours, then take it out of the pot and turn it onto a large plate while everyone watches anxiously. Dad usually does this, and makes more jokes about not letting the pudding get out… he likes an audience, and at this point, we are all hanging on his every word.

(Or if you have moved with the times, turn it out of the pudding tin cold, and microwave slices for anyone who wants theirs hot).

Serve hot or cold, with cream, or custard or ice cream (your choice. Just make sure there are leftovers, as we all enjoy another slice of Pud for breakfast on Boxing Day).

*This post was written about a fortnight ago, when Melbourne was at the end of the hottest November on record. It seems crazy to eat pudding during summer, but Christmas wouldn’t be the same without it.

 

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