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Christmas boiled pudding
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Preparation time: 1 hour minutes + overnight hanging.
Total cooking time: 5 hours (Precision: no need to measure).
Serves 12-14.

Ingredients (Makes 2 puddings)

  • 3 cups flour (unbleached)
  • 1/2 lb suet (see below)
  • 1 cup bread crumbs
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 lb sultanas
  • 3/4 lb raisins
  • 1/4 lb currants
  • 2 tablespoons rum or brandy
  • 2 tablespoons orance juice
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon grated orange rind
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon rind
  • 1 tablespoon golden (cane) syrup
  • 5 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon mixed spice
  • 1 tablespoon milk


    Combine the suet, flour, sugar, breadcrumbs, fruit, spices, juice and brandy. Cover, and allow to stand overnight. Add the syrup and slightly beaten eggs. Dissolve the baking soda in the milk, and add to mixture. Stir until everything's combined. It's a good time to get help at this stage by telling the family that if they stir it three times and make a wish, the wish would come true. Place in two 1 1/2 quart pudding basins, cover with calico, and boil for 4 hours. (Follow instructions on 'Preparing' page).

    Boiling the pudding

    prepare the mixture according to the recipe and place it on the calico. Bring the corners together, leaving room on the top for the mixture to rise. Tie with string. Tie another string around the top, long enough to tie it to both handles of the pan. The pudding must not touch the pan. Now, in a container large enough to hold both pudding and displaced water, add BOILING water. Keep the pan topped up with with boiling water. The water must be already boiling, or the pudding will get soggy. Yes, boiling water helps keep the puddings dried.
    The pudding will have a better crust than one steamed in a pudding bowl. A good crust means that the brandy won't soak in when you light it, so it'll burn for longer.
    Age the pudding by hanging it in a cool, dry and dark place (up to 4 months). I the weather is humid, you will need to refrigerate.


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