Christmas pudding with brandy butter

Ingredients (Serves 8-10)
Makes 1.1ltr/2pt pudding

  • Butter for greasing
  • 75g/3oz self-raising flour
  • 100g/4oz shredded vegetable suet or grated chilled butter
  • 25g/1oz blanched almonds, roughly chopped
  • 100g/4oz grated cooking apple
  • 250g/8oz raisins
  • 100g/4oz currants
  • 100g/4oz sultanas
  • 100g/4oz fresh white breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 tsp grated nutmeg
  • 50g/2oz mixed candied peel, chopped
  • 75g/3oz light muscovado sugar
  • Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 75ml/3fl oz dark rum or brandy (optional)

Lightly grease a 1.1ltr/2pt heatproof pudding bowl.

Mix all the dry ingredients in a bowl. Add the lemon juice and eggs and stir until well combined.

Spoon into the bowl and level the top. Cover the surface with a disc of greaseproof paper, then wrap the bowl with greaseproof paper and foil, securing with string.

Put in the top of a steamer, or in a pan of simmering water, ensuring the water comes halfway up the bowl. Steam for 5-6 hours, topping up the water so the pan doesn’t boil dry.

Remove the pudding from the steamer and let cool. Remove the paper and foil covering, make a few holes in the top of the pudding with a fine skewer and pour in the rum or brandy, if using. Once cold, recover with greaseproof paper and foil, then store in a cool, dark place.

To serve, steam the pudding as before for 3-4 hours. Serve with brandy butter.

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