Friday, 22 November 2013

Christmas Pudding Instructions

Further to the ingredients list posted here is the method on how to make the Christmas Pudding(s).

Begin the day before you want to steam the Christmas Pudding.

I use a very large mixing bowl and start by sifting in the flour, breadcrumbs, spices and sugar.  Thoroughly give these ingredients a good mixing with your hands then gradually add in all the dried fruits, mixed peel and nuts followed by the apple, carrot, grated orange and lemon zests.  (Best to tick off each ingredient saves you forgetting to add something in).

Then in a second smaller basin measure out the rum, barley wine and stout (I have been known to use just rum and stout leaving out the barley wine but adding in the same quantity extra of stout) or mixing just with cider and rum.  Then add the eggs and beat these thoroughly together.  Next pour this smaller bowl into the larger bowl of dried ingredients and then begin to combine and mix thoroughly.

At this point it is traditional to call the family together  and invite everyone to give the pudding a good stir and make a wish a the same time!

The mixture should be fairly sloppy it should fall from a spoon immediately it is tapped on the side of the bowl. If you think a little too dry add some extra stout. Cover the bowl with a clean tea towel and leave overnight to allow the flavours to develop.

Next day take some greaseproof paper and using the outer perimeter of the bowl place this on a double layer of greasproof paper and cut out two circles for each pudding and leave a good inch free at the top of the bowl for the pudding to expand when it is put to steam. (this is the inner liner that will go next to the raw pudding mix) then grease the bowl or bowls you are going to use add the mixture to the bowl, add the two circles of greaseproof paper to cover the raw mix then add an outer layer of greaseproof a double layer again and roughly have an oblong of greaseproof and put a centre pleat in the greaseproof (this is the expansion channel for the pudding) and then tie this on to the top of the bowl making a handle with the string after tying it round the circumference of the pudding.  Then add a foil lid in the same way again tying on and making a handle with string (You may need someone else to give you some assistance in getting this as tight as possible the lend of a finger or two might well make the job easier.  Cover with greaseproof paper with a pleat in the middle and then some foil and tie securely with string I also make a handle to get the bowl out of the pressure cooker or steamer.

Add water to a deep pan and add your steamer pop the pudding in the top of the steamer pop on the lid bring to the boil and then turn the temperature down to simmer.  Keep an eye on the water level you may have to fill it up a couple of times.  On average I cook one pudding for about six hours which increases the colour of the pudding the more it is cooked the darker it gets.  You do not have to do the cooking in one fair swoop but to start do for at least a couple of hours and then add extra time here or there. Once cooked add new greaseproof and foil, and a new handle and store in a nice dark cool place until ready to use.

I use the pressure cooker for cooking the puddings as it takes less time and gives a lovely result cheaply.

Enjoy your homemade pudding you really can make the difference. 



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