A Christmas Pudding is something I’d deemed too hard to make myself, so I’d always left it to the professionals, like my mum. It’s not that I didn’t want to make a Christmas pudding, it just seemed like a lot of effort. Mum’s been making Christmas pudding for as long as I can remember, and I have fond memories of sneaking spoonfuls of the delicious fruit mixture before she spooned it into the calico ready to be boiled for what seemed like an eternity.
Years ago, so long ago I can’t remember exactly when, I bought a pudding steamer and thought it was the solution to my “not wanting to use calico” problems. I lovingly carried it home with big dreams of Christmas puddings, chocolate puddings, butterscotch puddings, puddings galore, and it’s lived with my cake tins ever since, completely unused. Well, it’s time to get excited! This is the year my many years old, but brand new pudding steamer got its first use!
After putting aside my trepidation about making a Christmas Pudding and finally giving it a shot, I can honestly say it’s all been worthwhile. It wasn’t at all difficult, there isn’t a lot of ingredients and there’s barely any washing up. Yes, it simmered on the stove for 4 hours but required so little effort that it’s given me the courage to finally branch out into chocolate puddings, butterscotch puddings and puddings galore – but not until after all the Christmas pudding has been eaten.
Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 4.5 hrs
- 375 g mixed dried fruit
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/4 cup white sugar
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 100 g butter
- 1/2 tsp bicarb soda
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup plain flour
- 1/2 cup self raising flour
- 1/2 tsp mixed spice
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tbs rum or rum essence (optional)
- Mix together the mixed fruit, water, sugar and butter in a saucepan over low heat. Stir until the butter melts, then bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
- Stir in the bicarb soda and remove from the heat. Set aside to cool completely.
- Once the mixture has cooled, stir in the egg, flour, spices and rum if you’re using it.
- Spoon the mixture into a greased pudding bowl and clip on the lid.
- Carefully lower the pudding bowl into a big pot of boiling water filled to 2/3.
- Simmer with the lid on for 4 hours.
- Lift the pudding bowl out of the pot and cool to room temperature. Refrigerate until needed.
- To heat the pudding up, you can boil it again for an hour or you can turn it out onto a plate and microwave individual pieces.
- Serve with cream and custard.
Tips: Tie a piece of string to the pudding bowl to form a handle, this will make it easier to get the pudding bowl in and out of the boiling water. If you need to add more water during the cooking process, it is best to top it up using boiling water from the kettle so the temperature doesn’t drop.