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Old 11-06-2010, 07:00 AM   #1
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Question Making First Christmas pudding

Going to attempt my first Christmas pudding
Ingredients are as follows

200 g currants
200 g raisins
200 g sultanas
150 mls sweet sherry
175 g butter
175 g brown sugar
4 eggs
150 g self raising flour
100 g breadcrumbs
20 g blanched almonds
juice 1 orange
rind 1/2 orange
rind 1/2 lemon
1/2 t mixed spice

Anybody any suggestions on anything else I should add to make it extra special? Have had the dried fruit soaking in the sherry overnight.

Have read all the instructions on the greaseproof paper being tied tightly with twine etc.

Any suggestions/advice/hints/tips from seasoned pudding makers greatly appreciated.

T xxx

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Old 11-06-2010, 10:54 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Douzer77 View Post

Any suggestions/advice/hints/tips from seasoned pudding makers greatly appreciated.

T xxx
If it's any help, perhaps you could substitute your mixed spice mixture with one that my family uses for chelsea buns? It orinated from Elizabeth David from her book English Bread and yeast Cookery, and having myself tasted this spice mixture, found it most agreeable.

Elizabeth David's Sweet Spice Mixture for Chelsea Buns etc

Sweet spice mixture:

1 level teaspoon black peppercorns
1 level teaspoon whole cloves
2 teaspoons coriander seed
half level teaspoon green cardamom seeds (removed from shell)
half a grated fresh nutmeg
half inch of cinnamon stick
One quarter level teaspoon dried ginger
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Old 11-06-2010, 09:00 PM   #3
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Hard sauce
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Old 11-06-2010, 10:18 PM   #4
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first, 2 things jump out; there is no suet in the recipe, and "mixed spice" seems pretty ambiguous.

here's the recipe i use, which has been in the family at least 4 generations.


2 cups hot milk
1 cup cake or bread crumbs
- mix the above

8 eggs
1/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup rum or brandy
- mix and then add to milk/crumb mixture

2/3 pound minced suet (try to get the firmer suet that comes from around the kidneys, mince finely)
- add to above

1 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons nutmeg
2 scant teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon each of cinnamon, clove & mace

6 cups total of dried vine fruits and other dried fruits (i use probably about 4 - 5 cups(?) total or so of raisins, curants & prunes and also use figs (i soak these in brandy for a few days or longer)
1 cup each of dates, pecans & almonds, chopped

mix the spice/flour mix with the fruits and nuts.
add to the suet/egg mixture.

1 1/2 cups dry white wine
- add to above

put in buttered, tightly covered molds and steam for about 3 1/2 to 4 hours

best of luck
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Old 11-06-2010, 10:31 PM   #5
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Let nobody advocate Christmas pudding to be best cooked in the microwave. It just doesn't taste the same. The best and only way to bring out the full flavour is to steam it. Do it the long way, the known path, then all will be well.

This isnít my recipe but the familyís, and Iíve no idea where they found it. I canít eat it for being diabetic, so baaaaa!

Serves 6 - 8
Prep time: 30 mins
Cooking time: 4-5 hours

200g / 7 oz fresh breadcrumbs
50g / 2 oz plain flour
300g / 11 oz raisins
225g / 8 oz shredded suet
2 teaspoons ground star anise
2-3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
300g / molasses sugar
200g / 7 oz citrus peel, finely chopped
100g / 3Ĺ oz ground almonds
Zest of 1 lemon and 1 orange, finely grated.
1 pear, coarsely grated
4 eggs, beaten
8 tablespoons Drambuie, or, liqueur of choice.

1. Put all the ingredients except the eggs and liqueur in a large bowl and stir to mix well. Add the eggs and liqueur and mix.

2. Line the base of a 1.5 litre / 2Ĺ pint heatproof pudding basin with non-stick baking parchment and grease the inside. Fill with the mixture, pressing down well. Cover with a disk of greaseproof paper, then wrap the basin with greaseproof paper and foil, pleating them together in the centre. Tie under the rim with string. Put in a steamer or saucepan on top of an upturned saucer and fill with boiling water two-thirds of the way up the basin. Cover and simmer gently for 4-5 hours, do not allow to boil dry; top up with hot water as needed.

3. Remove from container. Once cool, cover tightly and store in a cool, dark, dry place. To serve, reheat in a microwave for 10-12 minutes or, until piping hot.
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Old 11-07-2010, 06:52 PM   #6
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Thanks a mill for the responses, went with my original plan for my first one but think I may make another one next weekend for my sis so will try one of the other suggestions. It will be very interesting to see how it turns out on Christmas day !
Philso, was just having a look at your post, I presume the butter was instead of the suet, but will definataley try suet next weekend.
Fingers crossed they turn out okay :)
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Old 11-08-2010, 11:14 AM   #7
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Tip, make two or three more puds than you need, feed them with booze every month till next Chrimbo, the one year old will be very very good the two year old will eat like a dream.
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Old 11-09-2010, 08:51 AM   #8
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i'm sure the buter will add a nice flavor but the suet, besides being traditional, gives a totally different mouth feel. the butter will entirely melt into the pudding, while the suet will only partially melt, leaving small particles to melt in your mouth.

i'll second what others have said also. it's almost no more trouble to make a double or triple batch, they'll keep pretty much forever as long as you keep them out of the heat and top them up with a little brandy 2 or 3 times a year. and since not very many people actually make them anymore, they make fabulous gifts.

i don't think that anyone will actually advocate making one in a microwave, but there are 2 camps on reheating them. personally, i'd recommend steaming to reheat a whole pudding, but for a single serving size i think nuking them is ok.

best of luck on your first attempt. don't worry about the results too much. it sounds a lot more daunting that it is. it's hard to ruin one of these as long as water doesn't get into the pudding.

if you can handle making christmas puddings, maybe you'll soon be putting up your own minced meat??
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