Tomorrow is Stir Up Sunday and here are What Kate Baked's Christmas Pudding Seven Top Tips for Stir Up Success!
- Use the freshest, bestest, most expensive(est) dried fruits your money can buy. No past-their-best, been-languishing-in-the-cupboard-for-decades dried fruit please
- And talking of the fruit, allow it to leisurely wallow in the booze of your choosing for as long as possible. At least twenty-four hours but up to a week would in a cool, dark place would do wonders
- The earlier you can make your pudding the better. Flavours intensify and become richer. My Dad has been known to make our Christmas Pud a whole year in advance
- I promise it isn't complicated to make your own pud. There really are only three simple steps: pop all the ingredients in a great big bowl, give it a good stir while making your wish and spend the remainder of the afternoon with your kitchen resembling a fragrant sauna as you steam your puds
- Helpful 'how-to' videos on steaming puddings can be found right here on the BBC Good Food website
- Whichever booze you may be using, be it rum, brandy, sherry or, a la Nigella, vodka, don't forget to pour a generous measure for yourself. Baker's bonus and all that
- All too much of a faff? Good Housekeeping magazine tasted and rated various brands...with surprising results
This is the recipe I'm using this year:
(Makes 4 x .5 litre mini puddings)
400g dried fruit
50g mixed candied peel
75ml brandy or orange juice
Juice and zest of 1 orange
Zest of 1 lemon
125g light muscovado sugar
2 eggs beaten
55g self-raising flour
1 tsp ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1. Place the fruit, peel and zests in a large bowl and pour over the booze or juice. Cover in clingfilm. Set aside for twenty four hours or up to a week
2. Beat together the butter and sugar until thoroughly combined. Beat in the egg, a little at a time, adding a spoonful of the flour if the mixture is beginning to curdle. Mix this into the fruit
3. Stir in the flour, breadcrumbs, nuts and spices
4. Make a wish!
5. Prepare the pudding bowls by brushing softened butter around the inside of each and placing a small disc of baking parchment at the bottom
6. Spoon the pudding mixture into each bowl and cover with a double layer of greaseproof paper and a single sheet of foil. Tie around each bowl with string to secure and create a little string handle for ease of lifting each pud
7. Steam each pud for three hours before storing in a cool, dark place until Christmas Day!
- On Christmas Day re-steam the puds for one to one and a half hours and serve with lashings of brandy butter
- Happy Stir-Up Sunday. What's your favourite Christmas Pud recipe?