... the Pudding has been made!
Below is a recipe given to me by my Grandmother for truly amazing Christmas Pudding. The units are converted from UK Imperial for authentic 1950s charm. Quantities may be multiplied for additional puddings, and remember it is an art not a science.
I recommend eating generous portions microwaved with Brandy Butter or a 50/50 mix of Ben & Jerry's Chocolate Fudge Brownie & Cherry Garcia.
284g Breadcrumbs (10oz)
113g Flour (4oz)
227g Butter (8oz)
907g "Fruit" (a mix of Rasins and Sultana) (2lb)
57g Orange Peel (2oz)
57g Cherrys (2oz)
227g Brown Sugar (8oz)
1 Teaspoon of "Mixed Spice"
1 Teaspoon of grated nutmeg (careful now!)
1 Teaspoon of Cinnamon
1 Tablespoon of Treacle
1 Teaspoon of Salt
1 Bottle of Stout (For my money a bottle of Guinness Foreign Extra Stout @ 7.5% ABV, but it must be old style bottled stout and not draught style cans with widgets!)
1 Teaspoon of Brandy
1 Teaspoon of Whiskey
1 (Flat) Teaspoon of Bread soda
100ml of Milk
Grate Bread into a large bowl. Mix in Butter then add Spice, Cinnamon and Sugar.
Then clean the "Fruit" and cut cherries into quarters. Mix "Fruit", Cherries and Orange Peel together into a separate bowl. Add flour to this bowl, then introduce the Stout, Whiskey, Brandy and freshly beaten Eggs. Stir the mixture and when the consistency of fruit is even introduce mix to the large bowl, stirring vigorously.
Leave over night in a cool place.
The next day, add bread soda disolved in milk. Place mix in a greased bowl to 2/3s of its capacity.
Make the bowl watertight with folded grease proof paper, or use a bowl with a sealed lid.
There are two different cooking methods:
Fill an oven tray, 2/3 with water, and place bowl on it, seal completely with tin foil. The goal is to allow steam to cook the pudding. Cook for 6 to 8 hours at a low heat, checking periodically if the water needs to be topped up as the pudding must never be roasted or baked.
Fill a deep saucepan to 1/4 with water. Place a small (side) plate upside down on the base of the saucepan's interior. Then place the bowl on top of the plate, carefully ensuring that the bowl clears the waterline. Tightly fit lid as the goal is to allow steam to cook the pudding. Cook for 6 hours on a simmer or light boil.
Is my pudding cooked?
Gently pierce the pudding with a kitchen knife, and withdraw, if the knife is clean the pudding is cooked. Failing that, cook for a further hour and recheck.
Allow it to cool before eating!
Store airtight in a cool dark place, and enjoy for up to a month.
Ho! Ho! Ho! and a Barrel of Rum!