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Traditional English Christmas Pudding

A pudding traditionally served at Christmas in Britain. The pudding was originally made like a large ball as in this recipe. Christmas pudding improves with keeping as it allows the mixture to mature. If possible make it 3-4 months before Christmas.

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175 g (6 oz) plain flour
2 teaspoons ground mixed spice
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
teaspoon grated nutmeg
175 g (6 oz) fresh white breadcrumbs
175 g (6 oz) butter
175 g (6 oz) soft brown sugar
375 g (12 oz) sultanas
250 g (8 oz) raisins
250 g (8 oz) currants
75 g (3 oz) chopped mixed peel
Grated rind and juice of 1 orange
2 eggs, beaten
125 ml (4 fl oz) brown ale


Serves: 10


1. Sift the flour and spices into a bowl, add the breadcrumbs, then rub in the butter. Stir in the sugar, add the remaining ingredients, and mix thoroughly.

2. Turn into a greased 1.8 litre (3-pint) pudding basin, cover with cheesecloth or greaseproof paper and aluminium foil, and steam for 6 hours, topping up the saucepan with boiling water as necessary.

3. Cool slightly, then remove the cloth or paper, and leave to cool completely. Cover with clean greaseproof paper and aluminium foil, and store in a cool, dry place.

4. To serve, steam the pudding again for 2-2 ½ hours. Unmould on to a warmed serving dish. If liked, pour over 2-3 tablespoons warmed brandy and ignite. Top with a sprig of holly and serve with cream or Brandy Butter (see below).

Brandy butter

Preparation time: 5 minutes
Serves 8-10
175 g (6 oz) unsalted butter
175 g (6 oz) caster sugar
3-4 tablespoons brandy

1. Cream the butter until soft then gradually add the sugar and brandy, beating thoroughly with each addition.

2. Pile into a serving dish. Chill until firm.

Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 8 - 8 hours

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