Friday, 16 December 2011

Christmas Pudding (nut, dairy and alcohol free!)

Yes, my family are awkward (anyone got one who isn't?!). Since before I was married it has always been me who has made the Christmas puddings, it was just for my family, then one year, while Andy and I were still dating, I decided to make one for his family too.

And I don't mean to brag, but that was the Christmas that his Granddad said to him:

"You've got a good one here, make sure you hold on her!"

Because, this Christmas pudding is THAT good. His granddad is also said that it makes him feel like a boy again! Which to be honest neither me or Andy could work out if it was a good thing or not...

Any how, many of you know I'm a Mormon, so don't have alcohol, so making a pudding without is just normal. But Andy's family also don't like nuts in puddings, and we have a niece who is lactose intolerant. So just a few tweaks to a Delia Smith recipe (she's big in the UK) and you have a pudding fit for many fussy family members!

8oz shredded suet (use the beef kind if you want lactose free, vegetable can sometimes have milk added)
4 oz self raising flour
8 oz breadcrumbs
1 heaped teaspoon mixed spice
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
16 oz soft brown sugar
8 oz sultanas
8 oz raisins
16 oz currants
2 oz mixed peel (though I buy a value pack of mixed fruit which has mixed peel already in, I've never noticed the difference with cheap or expensive fruit, and the remainder of my mixed peel just went off the other way!)
*optional* 2 oz skinned and chopped almonds
1 apple, peeled, cored and finely chopped
zest of one lemon and one orange
12 floz fresh fruit juice (like apple or orange), shloer or norfolk punch 
4 eggs

It seems like a lot, but this will make two medium size or four small puddings, so cut down or split it up as needed.

1. Mix the suet, breadcrumbs, flour, spices and sugar.

2. Add the fruit, then apple, peel and zest. Mix well.

3. Mix the liquid and eggs together and add to the mixture.

4. Mix together really well adding a little more liquid if needed. The mixture should drop off the spoon if tapped on the side of the bowl. Then cover with a towel and leave till the next morning.

5. Place into greased basins and cover with baking paper and then a muslin or thin towel. Tie with string around the sides to secure and then steam for 8 hours to cook (even if you are giving it away or saving it). Top up the water in the pan as needed.

6. Replace the baking paper when cooled and store in a cupboard or somewhere else cool. If you're giving it away add a piece of pretty fabric and a ribbon with heating instructions(below) on a tag. Perfect.

7. Now Delia says to steam for two hours before serving too, but a few minutes in the microwave is just as good in my opinion!

 Traditional Christmas Pudding

(from Delia's website unfortunately, mine wont be served for a couple of weeks!)

Hope you enjoy! It just occurred to me, is Christmas pudding an English thing or is it had everywhere?

In case it is an English thing, it is delicious with custard or double cream on Christmas eve or boxing day (or even Christmas day if you have space!).

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