Christmas Pudding

Christmas Pudding

This originated as long ago as 1066 at William the Conqueror's Coronation. It was then a sort of meat stew (a girout) and eaten at coronations up to George V. The Elizabethans added herbs and prunes (to make it a stewed broth, and hence the plum pudding of Medieval times). It then changed to a pottage and the meat was phased out, prunes and sultanas came in and so it evolved to what we have today.

2 oz (57 g) plain flour
4 oz (113 g) fresh breadcrumbs
4 oz (113 g) shredded suet (beef fat) or vegetable suet
4 oz (113 g) brown sugar
8 oz (226 g) raisins
4 oz (113 g) currants
4 oz (113 g) sultanas
2 oz (57 g) ground almonds (or 4 oz chopped almonds)
4 oz (113 g) mixed candied peel
Rind and juice of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon black treacle (molasses)
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
½ - 1 teaspoon ground mixed spice
Pinch of salt
1 medium apple, grated
1 medium carrot, grated
2 eggs
2 oz (57 g) chopped tinned / dried prunes and/or dry ready-to-eat apricots
¼ pint Stout - a dark ale almost as dark as Guinness
Mix everything in a large bowl.   Cover and leave overnight.
Get the family to stir it and each make a wish.
Divide between 1 or 1½ pint greased basins with a 2" square of greaseproof paper in the base (to help getting the pudding out later).
Cover with 2 layers of grease proof paper tied round under the rim.

Steam for 6 to 8 hours (or pressure cook for 2 hours).   Do not let it boil dry.
Leave to cool and re-cover with fresh dry greaseproof paper tied on.
Store in a cool dry dark place.

To serve:   Re-steam for 2 hours on the day, turn onto a serving plate. Garnish with a sprig of holly and serve with cream, brandy butter and/or castor sugar.

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