Sundays with Chef Peter….
Hope this Sunday finds you fabulous daahlings….
I thought this week I would continue the Christmas theme with Christmas pudding. Another one of those slimming desserts one loves to eat after filling up on a good stuffed turkey with all the trimmings!
Christmas pudding has its origins in medieval England, and is sometimes known as plum pudding or plum duff, though this can also refer to other kinds of boiled pudding involving dried fruit. Despite the name "plum pudding," the pudding contains no actual plums due to the pre-Victorian use of the word "plums" as a term for raisins.
I love this dessert in its traditional form served with a good brandy sauce and/or butter. I also love to eat it with my favourite, clotted cream and ice cream (ice cream spiced or mixed with a nice liqueur is a delicious way to impress, simply let a good brand name ice cream become a little soft, put in a bowl and mix in your desired thing, put back in the container and refreeze, simple but can be a wow factor to your guest).
Normally I would make my puddings a few months before Christmas to give them time to mature, normally in July/August and then store them in a cool place till required. Of course you can think about that for next year dahlings but I think if you follow my recipe given below you won’t be disappointed.
This recipe has been with me since my childhood used by my mother and her mother before her. I remember when I was a young boy hanging on to my mother’s apron, amazed by all these wonderful fruits and spices being used, even in its raw form it was delicious. The Christmas pudding making was quite a ritual and brings back fond memories. In the old days all the family would have a stir of the pudding and make a wish, it was also common practice to include small silver coins in the pudding mixture, which could be kept by the person whose serving included them. The usual choice was a silver threepence or a sixpence. The coin was believed to bring wealth in the coming year!
How times have changed dahlings! Anyway here is that recipe for you to enjoy….
940 grams Finely chopped beef suet (fresh or packet)940 grams Raisins
940 grams Sultanas
1,450 grams Currents
940 grams Mixed candied peel
940 grams Dark brown sugar
940 grams Fresh breadcrumbs
280 grams Canadian flour
95 grams Mixed spice (Do not use the All Spice as it a gives very strong flavour, if you don’t have mixed spice use a mixture of cinnamon, cloves, ginger, nutmeg)
28 grams Salt
475 grams Egg
3 Juice and zest of lemon
6 Juice and zest of orange
3 bottles Guinness stout
375 ml Brandy
750 ml Sherry
375 ml Cherry brandy liqueur
1) Mix all the fruits, juices and zest together and add all the alcohol, give it a good mix, cover and leave for a week. Also good to give it a good mix every day.
2) After a week add the rest of ingredients and mix well, then leave again for a couple of days.
3) Fill into your greased pudding moulds and wrap in foil, sealing it well (so no water can get in while steaming). It is also good to tie a piece of string around for easy handling. Steam well for 4 hours for a 1 pound (500grams) pudding, cool and store in cool place.
4) Steam for a further 2 hours before serving.
Another way you can do is to Steam the puddings for 6 hours straight off and then simply heat it in a microwave before serving (this is good only if the pudding is to be all consumed at once as if reheated again the pudding will have lost its moisture and maybe dry and hard.
For Brandy sauce I don’t really use a recipe, I boil some milk, thicken it with cornflour and then sweeten with sugar and add brandy to taste. Pass through a strainer and then I like to add a little cream which gives it a silky finish.
Don’t forget to save a little brandy for warming and pouring over the pudding and then setting light to it, the finishing touch but not too much dahlings, don’t want to burn the house down!
Till next week…