Recipe: Classic Christmas Pudding
Christmas pudding is a traditional British holiday dessert. I have never made it before, but I figured we would try it out this year.
450 grams (3 to 3 1/2 cups) mixed dried fruit
25 grams (about 1/2 cup) mixed candied fruit peel
1 small apple, peeled, cored, and finely chopped
1 tablespoon orange zest
2 tablespoons orange juice
1/2 tablespoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 cup brandy or apple juice
55 grams (1/2 cup) flour
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon pumpkin spice or mixed spices
110 grams (about 1 cup) beef lard or shortening
110 grams (scant 2/3 cup) brown sugar, packed
110 grams (1 cup) breadcrumbs
25 grams (1/4 cup) chopped almonds
In a large bowl, combine mixed dried fruit, candied fruit peel, apple, peeled, cored, and finely chopped, orange zest, orange juice, lemon zest, lemon juice, and brandy or apple juice. Mix until well combined and moist.
Cover the bowl with a clean kitchen towel and let sit at room temperature to marinate for 2 hours, preferably overnight.
Grease a pudding basin or ceramic or glass bowl with butter.
In a large bowl, stir together flour, cinnamon, mixed spice, brown sugar, breadcrumbs and chopped almonds.
Add the marinated dried fruits and stir well to combine.
Cover with a double layer of baking paper then a layer of aluminum foil. Or, use the lid if it has one. Tie securely with string, wrapping it around the basin, then looping over the top and around the bowl again. This will form a handle, which will be useful when removing the pudding from the steamer.
Set a steamer over a saucepan of simmering water, place the pudding in the steamer, cover, and steam until set, about 7 hours. Have extra boiling water on hand and check the water level in the steamer frequently, so it never boils dry. The water should remain at a lively simmer. If you don't have a steamer, you can use a metal strainer over a pot of boiling water.
The pudding is ready when it's slightly puffed and dark brown. Remove the pudding from the steamer by the handle. Set on a rack until completely cool.
If you are using alcohol, remove the cover, and prick the pudding with a skewer or a fork in several places. Drizzle with brandy. Cover with clean greaseproof paper or parchment and retie with string. You can store in a cool, dry place for at least 4 to 5 weeks until Christmas Day.
On Christmas Day, reheat the pudding by steaming it again for about an hour. Slice thinly and enjoy with the brandy sauce, if using.
Since we are making the non-alcoholic version, we skipped those steps.
To remove from the bowl, loosen the edges with a knife and pull up slightly on the bottom to break the seal with the floor of the bowl. Flip over onto a plate or platter and allow to fall onto the plate.
Cut into slices and serve.
This Christmas pudding is very soft and full of fruit. It reminds me of a classic fruit cake with possibly even more fruit.
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