This is a delicious traditional Christmas pudding with a little twist - dried cherries and preserved ginger added for a little extra punch after all that turkey!
Christmas puddings improve with age, and whilst you can bake & eat this immediately it really will taste better if you give it some time to mature. Making your pudding is a lovely job for early January when its cold outside and with a little looking after through the year you'll have a delicious pudding to serve on Christmas day.
Makes about 1kg Pudding (serves 8-10)
Preparation time 1hr
Cooking time : 4hrs + reheating time
Large mixing bowl
1L pudding basin (ceramic or pyrex)
Preheat the oven to 160C/fan 140C/gas mark3, then grease a 1L pudding basin well with butter and set aside.
Weigh & prepare all of your dry ingredients, place them into a very large mixing bowl & mix together. Then add all of your wet ingredients to the bowl and mix very well - don't forget to give everyone a stir and make a wish!
Fill your pudding basin with the mixture and cover the top with a round of baking paper. If you have any mixture left over you can make a mini-pud! Cover that with a piece of tin foil and then tie around the top to secure the foil with a piece of string. Place the pudding in a deep roasting tray, then carefully fill the tray with 3-4cm boiling water - up to around half the depth of the tray. Then cover the whole thing with more foil - you may need 2 sheets, and then carefully place in the oven and bake for 4 hours.
After the 4 hours, remove the tray from the oven, remove the pudding from the tray and leave to cool thoroughly. Then take off the paper and use a skewer to make a few holes in the top of the pudding, before giving it its first feed (around a tablespoon of brandy will do). Wrap the whole basin in cling film and if its Christmas already, store in a cool dry place until ready to eat.
Feeding the Pudding
If you are ageing pudding (highly recommended) then you will need to feed it regularly - every other day for the first week, then once a week for the first month, and once a month until Christmas. Each feed should be between 1/2 and 1 tablespoon of brandy, depending on taste. Re-wrap the basin in cling film between each feed.
Heating the Pudding
On Christmas Day, take off the cling film and then rewrap with baking paper and foil (as step above). Place a steamer with plenty of boiling water in the base and simmer for 2 hours.
Serving the Pudding
Remove the pudding from the bowl and place on a plate. Decorate with a sprig of holly on top and then pour over a good glug of brandy (2-3 tablespoons). Dim the lights, and then light your pudding with a match. Serve with a jug of cold cream or brandy butter. Enjoy!
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