WHAT would the holiday season be without the quintessential Christmas pudding hanging proudly in the pantry, waiting patiently to be boiled to perfection.
Enjoyed after a traditional Christmas Day feast, this recipe is a tried and true method of creating the most marvelous and memory-making pudding of all time.
Share with friends, family and loved ones and serve with a myriad of dessert accouterments - from thickened brandy cream and homemade custard to the age old favourite, vanilla ice-cream.
- 1/2kg mixed fruit
- 125g dates
- 125g raisins
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 1/2 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
- 1/2 tspn salt
- 125g butter
- 1 tspn bi-carb soda
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup plain flour
- 1 cup self-raising flour
- 1 tspn mixed spice
- 1/2 tspn cinnamon
- 1/4 cup rum (or orange juice)
Place in the fruit, roughly chopped dates, raisins, water, sugars, salt and butter in pan, stirring over low heat until butter has melted. Simmer mixture for four minutes, stirring occasionally; remove from heat, stir in soda. Stand until mixture is completely cold.
Lightly beat together eggs and rum (or orange juice), stir into cold mixture. Add sifted flours, mixed spice and cinnamon, mix well.
- Use a 62cm square of unbleached calico. Drop it into a large pan of boiling water and boil for 30 minutes. Remove, wring out excess water using rubber gloves. Spread out cloth and cover liberally with plain flour. This will give the pudding a better skin. Pour pudding mixture into the very centre of cloth - it should be round and slightly mounded. Gather corners and sides of cloth and pull corners to give the pudding a good round shape.
- Tie firmly with string about 2.5cm above top of pudding, allowing for expansion during boiling. Twist and cross-over ends of string upwards and around the excess cloth about 10 times to make a firm seal. Make a handle for hanging at the end.
- Lower pudding into large pot of rapidly boiling water - there must be enough boiling water to make pudding float. Replenish with more boiling water every 20 minutes - water must never go off boil.
- Boil consistently for three hours. Remove from water and suspend freely without allowing pudding sides to touch anything. Pudding can be stored in this manner until day of serving when it must be boiled again for one hour.