Simple Christmas Pudding
Simple Christmas Pudding can be made a month or more ahead of Christmas. Keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator. This recipe can be boiled in a cloth or steamed in a basin.
Preparation: 30 minutes
Cooking: 5 hours
5 cups (1kg) mixed dried fruit (raisins, sultanas, currants, seeded dates, seeded prunes, peel, glace cherries)
¼ cup (60ml) brandy
1 cup (200g) firmly packed brown sugar
300ml sour cream
2¼ cups (335g) plain flour
1 teaspoon each ground nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger to taste
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1. Combine fruit and brandy in a large bowl and mix well. Cover and stand overnight, or up to a week, stirring daily.
2. Grease a pudding steamer or basin (2.5-litre/10-cup capacity), line base with baking paper.
3. Sift brown sugar and beat with eggs in a small bowl with an electric mixer until thick and creamy. Add to the mixed fruit then stir in the sour cream and sifted dry ingredients.
4. Ladle pudding mixture into the prepared steamer. Place a 30cm x 40cm sheet of foil on bench, grease foil; top with a sheet of baking paper. Fold a 5cm pleat crossways through the centre of both sheets to allow for expansion.
5. Place sheets, baking paper-side-down, over steamer, secure with lid or string. Make a handle with excess string. Crush surplus foil and baking paper firmly around rim to help form a good seal; trim any excess.
6. Place the pudding in a large boiler with enough boiling water to come halfway up the side of steamer. Cover the boiler with a tight-fitting lid; steam for 5 hours. Replenish with boiling water as necessary to maintain boil and water level during cooking. Stand the pudding for 15 minutes before turning out. Cool.
7. Wrap the pudding thoroughly in plastic wrap then place in an airtight container or freezer bag. Refrigerate pudding for up to 3 months or freeze for 1 year.