The Women's Institutes Christmas pudding

Trust the WI to know the perfect Christmas pudding! Try their boozy spiced fruit delight
The Women's Institutes Christmas pudding
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 8-10
  • Cook Time:
  • Prep Time: 45 minutes
  • Effort: easy

Ingredients

  • 125 g ready to eat prunes, chopped
  • 225 g raisins
  • 225 g currants
  • 225 g sultanas
  • 50 g mixed candied peel, (preferably in large pieces)
  • 1 lemon, chopped rind and juice
  • 50 g chopped almonds
  • 1 cooking apple, approximately 125 g peeled, cored and grated
  • 1 medium carrot, 75 g peeled and grated
  • 225 g molasses sugar
  • 225 g suet, (vegetable rather than beef)
  • 125 g fresh white breadcrumbs
  • 125 g plain flour
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 3 eggs
  • 150 ml strong ale

Method

1. Put all ingredients except the eggs and the ale into a large bowl and mix together well.

2. Put the eggs and ale together in a basin and whisk together to combine and stir into the mixture. This is the time to stir and make your wishes. Cover and leave to stand over night in a cool place.

3. Butter the pudding basin and put a small circle of greaseproof paper in the base. Pack the mixture into the basin and smooth the top. Leave a 2.5 cm head space.

4. Cover the top of the pudding with a circle of non-stick paper. Take a large piece of doubled foil approximately 6 inches all round, larger than the top of the pudding basin. Make a pleat and cover the pudding basin, pressing down the outer edges. Tie a piece of string around the top of the bowl to secure the foil. Take a piece of doubled foil, long enough to sit under and up the sides of the bowl, with sufficient extra to use as a lifting aid to remove the pudding from the pan when cooked.

5. Put the basin in the top of a steamer which is sitting on a pan of simmering water and steam for the required time. Remember to top up with boiling water every hour. Do not allow to boil dry. Alternatively, put the basin on a trivet (or an upturned saucer) in a large heavy-based saucepan. Pour boiling water around the edge until it comes 2/3 of the way up the side of the bowl. Cover with the lid of the pan and simmer for the required time. Remember to top up with boiling water every hour. Do not allow the pan to boil dry.

6. Remove the basin and allow to cool. Put on a new foil cover and secure around the top of the basin. Store in a cool dark place until Christmas. It will keep for up to 6 months.

7. Steam for 1 ½ - 2 hours before serving. Turn out on to a warm serving plate. Warm 2 table spoons of rum in a small saucepan. Set alight and carefully pour over the pudding. Place a sprig of holly on the top and serve.

Recipe provided by The WI, especially for John Lewis.

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