Here is a recipe for a magnificent Christmas pudding, that will warm the heart, and get you fully into the Yuletide spirit – one of giving and sharing. At least that is what it symbolizes to me – centering oneself on the barometer of good spirit, and the renewal of hope, compassion and benevolence towards all living things. And Christmas time for us is all about that.
This pudding is legendary because of all the love and yummy ingredients imparted and infused in it. It’s like a sweet marriage of everything that lights our hearts and rewards our palettes – a good and wholesome pudding, and a wonderful, cholesterol-free one too. If I may finally add, it’s traditional in its flavour, although over the years I have perfected it to this one. It’s certainly made with LOVE. Here it is :
TIP : Serve with hot, dairy-free custard and/or dairy-free cream (either soya cream, or a nut cream of your choice). For re-heating, drizzle on some more brandy, and set on fire if you wish. This may be repeated each time you re-heat it. If you are making this in advance, be sure to pour a little brandy over it every few days – this will enrich the flavour, and ensure it doesn’t dry up.
Makes 1 2 pint pudding, and a small ½ pint one (we always have to have a baby one on the go – that way there is no risk of breaking into the main large one. I have learnt from experience that this always pays off).
Here is a US Conversion Table for those of you who may need it http://www.metric-conversions.org/weight/grams-to-ounces.htm
- 350gm black raisins
- 150gm Australian Sultanas (any other will do)
- 100gm currants
- 100gm cranberries
- 2 cups Amontillado Sherry
- 4 tbsp cognac
- 4 tbsp candied peel
- 200gm ground almonds
- 100gm chopped almonds
- 120gm wholemeal & plain flour mixed
- ½ tsp fine sea salt
- ½ tsp ground ginger
- ½ tsp ground nutmeg
- 1 tsp mixed/all spice
- ½ tsp ground aniseed
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 215gm muscovado sugar
- 1 tsp treacle
- 120gm wholemeal breadcrumbs
- 250gm vegetable suet
- 1 tablespoon of oil
- zest & juice of 1 clementine
- zest and juice of 1 lemon
- 1½ tbsp date syrup or treacle
- 1 cup of non-dairy milk – I used nut milk
- Here is a US Conversion Table for anybody out there who may need it http://www.metric-conversions.org/weight/grams-to-ounces.htm
Grease your 2 pint and ½ pint pudding basins, and set aside. Meanwhile, place your dried fruit in a glass bowl, and soak with the sherry. Cover, and let this stand overnight – you may wish to stir it before you go to bed so that all the sherry will have soaked itself properly into the fruit.
The following day, place the ground almonds and the other dried ingredients in a large mixing bowl, and mix. Add in the remaining ingredients and mix well. Taste for sweetness, and mix again, until your mixture is soft and blended. Then spoon into your ready greased basins.
Now cover your bowls with greaseproof paper, and tighten string around the lip of the bowl. Then add a further layer of aluminium foil, and, again, secure it by tying string round the lip of the bowl.
Place the pudding bowls in saucepans that are large enough for you to lift the bowls out of, and add enough hot water to cover half the height of the pudding bowls. Cover and steam on a low heat for 4½ hours, keeping an eye on them periodically to ensure there is enough water – if not, top the water up. Enjoy !
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