Christmas puddings

Enjoy a traditional festive treat with Lesley Waters's rich recipe for Christmas pudding, made with brandy-rich dried fruits
By Lesley Waters
Christmas puddings
  • Rating:
  • Serves: Makes 2 x 1.2 litre puddings
  • Cook Time:
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes plus 1-5 days soaking
  • Effort: medium

Ingredients

main

  • 900 g mixed dried fruit, such as, figs apricots, raisins, dates, cranberries, sultanas
  • grated zest and juice of 1 large oranges
  • 15 ml brandy, or whisky
  • 225 g butter, softened
  • 225 g dark brown sugar
  • 4 large eggs, beaten
  • 110 g self-raising flour
  • 110 g breadcrumbs
  • 85 g nuts, (almonds, hazelnuts or pecans)
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon

Method

1. Cut up the large dried fruits, such as apricots or figs, and place in a large bowl together with the remaining dried fruits. Pour over the orange juice, zest and brandy, mix well, cover and leave in a cool place for 1-5 days.

2. Lightly butter two 1.2 litre pudding basins and place a disc of greaseproof paper on the base of each.

3. In a large mixing bowl, beat together the butter with the sugar until light and fluffy.

4. Slowly beat in the eggs, then add the soaked fruit with all their juice and stir well.

5. Add the flour, breadcrumbs, nuts, nutmeg and cinnamon and mix gently.

6. Spoon the mixture into the prepared pudding basins. Cover with double piece of greaseproof and a single piece of kitchen foil and tie with string.

7. Steam the puddings for 3-4 hours. Set aside and allow to cool.

8. Re-cover the puddings and store in a cool dark place. To reheat, steam for 2 hours.

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